Although research evidence strongly supports pulmonary rehabilitation as a highly effective treatment for many people with COPD, it is vastly under-utilised both during times of stable disease and particularly after lung flare-ups.
People often describe the ‘barriers’ to undertaking rehabilitation. In order to overcome these, it is important to identify which might apply to you and discuss them with your healthcare team. Review the list of common barriers below and click the tile for suggestions to overcome each one.
Barriers related to yourself
The belief that one is too breathless or unwell to participate
The belief that one is not unwell enough to need PR
The presence and impact of anxiety and/or depression
Lack of knowledge about the mental and physical health benefits
Previous negative experience of PR
Concern that PR soon after a lung flare-up will risk another flare-up
Barriers related to other factors
Disruption to usual schedules or existing commitments
Lack of transport to the program’s location
Difficulty with access (e.g. distance from car park)
Lack of support from others due to their limited knowledge of PR
Associated costs of PR
It is important to find the ‘right’ person to talk to if you feel unsure about starting pulmonary rehabilitation after a lung flare-up. Different people have different knowledge and listening / communication skills.