HealthDay News — Guidelines for enhanced implementation, use, and delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) have been presented in a policy statement published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

On behalf of the American Thoracic Society (ATS)/European Respiratory Society (ERS), Carolyn L. Rochester, MD, and colleagues developed a policy statement on PR. The document was modified based on feedback from expert peer reviewers and was formally approved by the ATS Board of Directors and the Science Council and Executive Committee of the ERS.

The authors note that physicians and health care professional trainees who treat patients with chronic respiratory disease should have formal training in PR, and should have educational opportunities in the process and benefits of PR. Health care professionals and patient advocacy groups should develop and disseminate information on the process, benefits, costs, and cost-effectiveness of PR. Patient awareness and knowledge of PR should be increased with development of educational materials and communication campaigns. Patient access to PR should be improved, partly through increasing funding. PR programs should follow relevant evidence-based guidelines; to enable benchmarking in PR, a core set of processes and outcomes should be established. Additionally, further research should be undertaken to advance evidence-based policy in PR.

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“The ATS and ERS commit to undertake actions that will improve access to and delivery of PR services for suitable patients,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


1. Rochester Cl, Vogiatzis I, Hollan AE, et al. An Official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Policy Statement: Enhancing Implementation, Use, and Delivery of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Amer J Resp Crit Care Med. 2015;192(11): 1373-1386.