Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a highly effective, established therapy to improve exercise intolerance, impaired quality of life and limb muscle weakness associated with a range of chronic respiratory diseases. The evidence base for PR is largest in the area of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), yet its role in other obstructive lung diseases such as asthma is less well defined. Despite several features being common across both COPD and asthma, factors such as younger age or employment may affect the potential applicability of traditional PR models for patients with asthma. This review examines the current evidence regarding PR for the obstructive lung diseases of COPD and asthma. It offers appraisal of some of the strengths and weaknesses of existing literature, identifies areas in need of future research and details some of the issues facing clinicians responsible for the clinical management and rehabilitation of patients with these diseases.
- obstructive lung diseases