Medical University of South Carolina Hospital logo
Home |  Video Library | Podcast Library | e-Newsletters | Classes & Events | About Us | News Blog | University & Colleges 
Contact Us | 843-792-1414

Patients & Visitors

Medical Services

Maps & Parking

Health Library

Physician Portal


Online Services
Health Library
Health Topics A to Z
Clinical Trials & Research
Tests & Procedures
Lab Tests & Results
Health Assessment Tools
Symptom Checker
Health e-Newsletters
Podcast Library
Video Library
Health Library
Bookmark Page icon Bookmark |

Print this page icon


E-mail icon

Health Library : Respiratory Disorders


Pulmonary Rehabilitation

What is pulmonary rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a doctor-supervised program for people who have chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, asthma, bronchiectasis, interstitial lung disease, (such as cystic fibrosis or sarcoidosis), thoracic cage abnormalities, neuromuscular diseases, or lung tumors. The program is also often used before and after lung surgery. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs can often improve function, reduce symptoms, and improve the well-being of patients.

The pulmonary rehabilitation team

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the pulmonary rehabilitation team, including any or all of the following:

  • Pulmonologist
  • Thoracic surgeon
  • Physiatrist
  • Internist
  • Other specialty doctors
  • Rehabilitation specialists
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Registered dietitian
  • Physical therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist/psychiatrist
  • Recreational therapist
  • Case manager
  • Chaplain
  • Vocational counselor

The pulmonary rehabilitation program

A pulmonary rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient, depending upon the specific lung problem or disease. Active involvement of the patient and family is vital to the success of the program.

The goal of pulmonary rehabilitation is to help patients return to the highest level of function and independence possible, while improving the overall quality of life--physically, emotionally, and socially. These goals are often met by:

  • Decreasing respiratory symptoms and complications
  • Encouraging independence through self-management
  • Improving physical conditioning and exercise performance
  • Improving social, emotional, and vocational status
  • Reducing hospitalizations

In order to help reach these goals, pulmonary rehabilitation programs may include the following:

  • Medication management to help reduce respiratory symptoms, complications, and hospitalizations
  • Breathing exercises to improve lung capacity and fitness
  • Calisthenics or stretching exercises to improve flexibility
  • Weight training to increase exercise endurance and conditioning
  • Exercise machines, such as stationary bicycles and treadmills
  • Patient and family education and counseling
  • Smoking cessation
  • Stress management and emotional support
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Assistance with obtaining respiratory equipment and portable oxygen
  • Vocational counseling

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Respiratory Disorders

 Sources & References




 Interactive Tools:
 »Childhood Asthma Quiz
 »Child's Sleep Safety Quiz

 Tests & Procedures:
 »Chest Fluoroscopy
 » View All 20

About This Site   |   Disclaimer   |  Privacy   |   Accessibility   |   Donations   |   Site Map
171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403 1.843.792.1414 | © 2014 Medical University of South Carolina

mobile web site iconrss feed iconText Messaging iconPodcast Library