Online Pulmonary Rehabilitation

4 Benefits of an Online Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a structured program of exercise, education, and self-management training for individuals living with a chronic respiratory condition. Rehabilitation is highly recommended for people diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, interstitial lung disease (ILD), bronchiectasis, and cystic fibrosis. It is an effective intervention and has shown to reduce symptoms of breathlessness, improve physical and mental health, and enhance quality of life. Despite the known benefits, pulmonary rehabilitation is not yet widely implemented.

Traditionally, pulmonary rehabilitation is offered as a face-to-face program in a supervised outpatient hospital-setting over a minimum of four to six weeks (McCarthy et al., 2015, Bourbeau, 2010, Bourne et al., 2017). However, conventional programs may be difficult for patients with transportation issues. As well, people in rural areas may not have access to pulmonary rehabilitation. Gym access and instructor availability may limit the size of the group, and patients with comorbidities may not be able to attend (Bourbeau, 2010). Thus, alternative deliveries, such as online pulmonary rehabilitation, have been created to expand patient access.

Online pulmonary rehabilitation allows members to access their program from a smart device. It is important to note that programs may vary. Some offer interactive training led by the instructor(s) to a group of clients via video application, whereas other programs provide resources for members to complete independently in an unsupervised environment. However, the advantages of an online format are seen in both deliveries.

Online Pulmonary Rehabilitation

4 Benefits of Online Pulmonary Rehabilitation

1. Accessible

Online pulmonary rehabilitation is accessible from any location on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Therefore, members can complete the training sessions from any desired location, such as their home, the gym, or the park. Additionally, the convenient nature of online programs solves many barriers experienced with face-to-face rehabilitation and can reach more people than ever before.

2. Flexible

Like any online program, a main advantage is flexibility. Members enrolled in online pulmonary rehabilitation can complete their training sessions at a time that is most convenient for them. A flexible program helps to balance work, family, and other commitments with rehabilitation.

3. Continuous

Chronic diseases are persistent, long lasting, and may worsen over time. Pulmonary rehabilitation helps to slow the progression of chronic respiratory diseases and ease symptoms. However, the majority of face-to-face rehabilitation programs are four to six weeks in length. Graduated members who do not enroll in a maintenance program often lose motivation to continue practicing these health-enhancing behaviours. As a result, their health and disease-specific symptoms may worsen. Online pulmonary rehabilitation programs that provide training sessions safe to complete independently can offer individual’s a lifelong program. This availability of resources can help members navigate healthy living with a chronic condition at all times. 

4. Cost Effective

Gym memberships, travel costs, trainer fees, and medical expenses can all add up. An affordable online pulmonary rehabilitation program designed for home workouts helps lower health spending. Additionally, time is money, and online programs reduce travel requirements, so members can spend more time with family and friends.

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Pulmonary rehabilitation helps ease respiratory symptoms, improve physical and psychological well-being, and increase disease management. Please discuss your decision to begin online pulmonary rehabilitation with a doctor or health care provider.

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