Increasing physical activity in patients with COPD

Matthew Armstrong

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Levels of physical activity tend to be reduced in people with COPD. Matthew Armstrong discusses the benefits of improving activity levels in this group of patients

It is well acknowledged that levels of physical activity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are considerably lower than healthy-age matched individuals, with physical inactivity recognised as a key predictor of hospitalisation and mortality. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) has become a major tool for managing symptoms of COPD and the associated extra-pulmonary effects. However, inconsistencies surrounding its effectiveness in terms of improving physical activity remain due to the complex nature of physical activity. To overcome these inconsistencies, both pharmacological and behavioural interventions have been documented to aid improvements in physical activity, with behavioural interventions alongside PR found to be the most effective tool to promote levels of physical activity. Health professionals must therefore look to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach in order to best achieve improvements in physical activity levels in patients with COPD.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Pages (from-to)461-466
Number of pages5
JournalPractice Nursing
Issue number11
Early online date2 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2020


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