Pulmonary rehabilitation (often called pulmonary rehab or PR) has been described as the most important intervention for respiratory patients (after giving up smoking), since it can have a greater impact on patients’ lung health, breathlessness and quality of life than any medication.
What is pulmonary rehabilitation (PR)?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a specialised, structured course for people with respiratory conditions run by the NHS Highland physiotherapists. The course provides education about the your respiratory condition and managing breathlessness, it teaches you breathing and chest clearance techniques, and involves gentle exercises to help build up your fitness so you can complete everyday tasks without getting breathless.
Patients say they have found these classes very valuable and that the course had greatly improved their condition management and breathlessness.
Referrals to pulmonary rehabilitation
If your respiratory condition is having a significant impact on your day to day life, you may be referred for pulmonary rehabilitation. Face-to-face pulmonary rehab classes are provided across the Highlands - however, due to our geography, there is often quite a long waiting time for classes, and you may have to travel a considerable distance to attend them. Provision of pulmonary rehab has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
Making pulmonary rehab more accessible for all those who would benefit
We are now hoping to make pulmonary rehab more accessible across the Highlands, possibly by providing a continuous rolling programme of online pulmonary rehabilitation classes, using the Near Me video consultancy technology. If you have been referred for face-to-face classes you will be able to join the online classes while you are waiting, or instead of attending face-to-face. In addition, if places are available, anybody with a respiratory condition which is beginning to impact on their day to day life and who feels they might benefit, will be able to self-refer for these online classes.
Online classes will provide all the same education and exercise opportunities provided by face-to-face classes, and even some time for support and chat among participants. Before joining the online classes you will have a one-to-one session with a respiratory physiotherapist (either face-to-face or online) and we ask that you purchase a pulse oximeter so that you can check your blood oxygen saturation before and during exercise.
Once classes are up and running, it will be possible for you to request a place on the online pulmonary rehabilitation classes by clicking on a link on this page. So, watch this space.
Sources of more information about pulmonary rehabilitation
What is pulmonary rehabilitation - Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS)
What is pulmonary rehabilitation - My lungs, my life
Essential guide to pulmonary rehabilitation - Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS)
The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation - British Lung Foundation (BLF)
Why you should do pulmonary rehabilitation - NHS Ayrshire & Arran video
Pulmonary rehabilitation - NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde video
Exercise for severe COPD - NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde video
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