What are the benefits of pulmonary rehab in patients with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD)?

Updated: Sep 11, 2020
  • Author: Dora E Izaguirre Anariba, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) workshop, pulmonary rehabilitation is defined as "a multi-disciplinary continuum of services directed to persons with pulmonary disease and their families, usually by an interdisciplinary team of specialists, with the goal of achieving and maintaining the individual's maximum level of independence and function in the community."

Most programs combine education, exercise conditioning, breathing training, chest physical therapy, and respiratory muscle training with nutritional counseling and psychological support.

Therapy does not improve pulmonary function test results, but well-controlled studies document significant improvement in exercise endurance, exercise work capacity, level of dyspnea, quality of life, and reduction of health-related expenses.


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