CURRENT OPINION IN PULMONARY MEDICINE
March 2011 | 17(2):62-71. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e328343521c.
Moullec, G., Laurin, C., Lavoie, K., Ninot, G.
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
Pulmonary rehabilitation plays a key role in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although the American Thoracic Society recently provided a grade of 1A for evidence of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) benefits related to pulmonary rehabilitation, knowledge about the psychological and behavioral processes explaining the impact of pulmonary rehabilitation on HRQoL in COPD patients remains limited. This review describes the state of knowledge over the past year concerning HRQoL benefits after pulmonary rehabilitation and suggests avenues for future research.
HRQoL outcomes related to pulmonary rehabilitation explores five themes: optimizing pulmonary rehabilitation components to improve HRQoL; characterization of a responder phenotype; suitability of pulmonary rehabilitation following acute exacerbations; exploration of psychological and behavioral mechanisms explaining pulmonary rehabilitation benefits; and long-term maintenance of HRQoL benefits after pulmonary rehabilitation.
Evidence supports the use of pulmonary rehabilitation to improve HRQoL in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD. However, it is unclear how pulmonary rehabilitation improves HRQoL and which characteristics confer the greatest HRQoL benefits. Moreover, most studies failed to provide a compelling theoretical rationale for the intervention employed. Future research should focus on improving the understanding of the psychological mechanisms implicated in the adoption and maintenance of healthy behavior.