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Editorials |

A Doubting Thomas Dealing With Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Francesco de Blasio, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Naples, Italy 
 ,  Dr. de Blasio is Chief, Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Section, Clinic Center Private Hospital, Naples.

Correspondence to: Francesco de Blasio, MD, FCCP, Via Tripergola 4, 80072 Arco Felice, Naples 80072, Italy; e-mail: fdeblasio@cybernet.it



Chest. 2000;117(4):929-931. doi:10.1378/chest.117.4.929
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Extract

When I was a young pulmonary fellow, I used to distrust concepts too difficult to define. This simple self-warning led me to underestimate the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) as a component of the treatment of patients suffering from COPD. As a matter of fact, several panels of experts of different scientific societies dedicated time and spent a considerable amount of effort in defining the process of pulmonary rehabilitation. First was the American College of Chest Physicians Committee on Pulmonary Rehabilitation in 1974, which defined pulmonary rehabilitation “ … as an art of medical practice wherein an individually tailored, multidisciplinary program … stabilizes or reverses both the physio- and psychopathology of pulmonary diseases and attempts to return the patient to the highest possible functional capacity … .”1 Although this early definition already underlined several fundamental aspects of today’s pulmonary rehabilitation (ie, a consideration of the patient’s individual needs, the multidisciplinarity of the rehabilitation team, the aim of returning the patient to his home setting), this was followed by others that tried to improve it (European Respiratory Society, Rehabilitation and Chronic Care Scientific Group, 19922; National Institute of Health workshop and summary, 19943) which only succeeded in highlighting the educational aspect of PR as “ … a multidimensional continuum of services directed to persons with pulmonary disease and their families … .”

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