Pulmonary rehabilitation is the restoration of an individual with
chronic lung disease to the fullest medical, emotional, social and
vocational potential possible. Chronic lung disease is a major cause of
disability, loss of productivity, decreased quality of life and
increased medical expense. Pulmonary rehabilitation strives to increase
the patient’s ability to perform daily activities with more comfort and
ease and decrease the possibility of future hospitalizations through a
structured program of education and exercise.
In the Paoli Hospital Lung Center's comprehensive Pulmonary
Rehabilitation Program, participants meet two times a week
for eight weeks. Each two-hour session uses education and exercise
to help reduce respiratory symptoms and optimize the ability to carry
out daily activities. Respiratory therapists and other healthcare
professionals, under the direction of a pulmonologist, establish
appropriate individualized programs to help patients work toward their
goals. An extended maintenance program is also offered to patients
completing the initial program.
Our program can benefit the patient with chronic lung disease who has:
Decreased physical activity
Impaired quality of life
Increased dependence on others for daily living activities
Anxiety or depression due to lung disease
Increased hospitalizations and emergency room visits due to lung
Other medical problems associated with chronic lung disease
Entering the Program
Usually, people are referred to the program by their physicians. Many
people are also self-referred. We strongly encourage patients to discuss
their intentions with their physicians before beginning the program.
Should you decide to join the program, we will meet with you to discuss
your health and the program, and evaluate the results of certain tests
to determine if pulmonary rehabilitation would be appropriate for you.
We will use this information to establish realistic goals for your
During the Program
Our exercises and education will help you achieve your individual goals.
These goals may include the ability to walk, climb stairs, or perform
household chores with less shortness of breath and fatigue.
Inactivity results in loss of muscle strength, tone and flexibility and
can increase the symptoms of shortness of breath and fatigue. Upper- and
lower-body exercises reverse this process, allowing a progressive
increase in activity level with less shortness of breath and fatigue.
These exercises are prescribed according to your individual exercise
Classes that teach greater understanding of lung disease, proper use of
prescribed medication, and breathing retraining exercises can help you
manage your pulmonary disease more effectively. Energy conservation
skills will help you efficiently use your strength and breathing
capacity. Other classes teach:
Prevention and management of infection
Importance of exercise
Environmental elements affecting breathing
Oxygen equipment and traveling tips
At the End of the Program
After you have completed the program, you will receive individualized
recommendations that will help bring greater success in achieving your
personal goals. Every three months for one year, we will continue to
work with you to adjust your home exercise program to ensure the best
possible outcome of the rehabilitative process.
The extent of coverage will be determined prior to the start of the
program, and you will know ahead of time what your financial
responsibility, if any, will be.
Maintenance Exercise Program
Following the formal six-week rehabilitation program, participants have
the opportunity to enroll in a program in which they use exercise the
facilities at the hospital to help maintain their fitness.
Free Support Group
The Easy Breathers Club is a free community service offered by Paoli
Hospital. At these monthly support group meetings, we present relevant
educational topics and provide opportunities for continued support for
individuals with lung disease. Contact the Lung Center to learn more.
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.