Patients Benefit From In-Home Pulmonary Rehabilitation

heidi Referring to Home Health, Resources for Physicians Comments Off on Patients Benefit From In-Home Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Benefits of home-based therapy include stronger clinical outcomes, reduced emergency care need, and increased compliance to physician’s orders.

Do you care for patients who have COPD, chronic lung disease, or who have conditions that make it hard for them to breathe? Your patients may benefit from a pulmonary rehabilitation program that comes to their door. These programs are often provided by skilled home health agencies. Patients who receive specialized treatment in their home have better clinical outcomes and a reduced need for emergency care.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is an intervention that can combine exercise, education, and behavior modification strategies in an effort to minimize symptoms and improve quality of life. A multidisciplinary program is individually tailored to optimize a patient’s physical and social functioning and increase their autonomy. Patients are taught how to manage their symptoms and reach their maximum functioning level.

A Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Provides:

  • Exercise training
    • Improve endurance and muscle strength
    • Teach exercises for lower body, upper body and breathing muscles
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Education on the patient’s lung disease or condition and how to manage it
    • Teach medication treatment plan (use of inhalers, oxygen therapy)
    • Encourage smoking cessation
  • Energy-conserving techniques
    • Teach strategies to avoid reaching, lifting, and bending
    • Teach relaxation skills to relieve stress
  • Breathing strategies
    • Teach pursed-lip breathing
    • Teach body positioning for better lung capacity
    • Teach chest physical therapy
  • Psychological counseling and/or group support
    • Address anxiety, depression and other emotional disturbances


The Benefits of an At-Home Rehabilitation Program

  • Reduce readmissions to an acute care setting
  • Ensure continuum of care throughout care transitions
  • Alleviate missed office visits
  • Encourage adherence to discharge instructions and physician orders
  • Address social service needs
  • Empower patient to self-manage their disease through education


Candidates for this type of program include patients with:

  • COPD
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Conditions that make it hard for them to breathe or limits their activities
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Muscle-wasting disorders (muscular dystrophy)

In addition, this type of program usually offers pre- and post-surgical therapy for patients undergoing lung surgery.