Physiological basis of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation in patients with lung or heart disease

Zafeiris Louvaris, Ioannis Vogiatzis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Shortness of breath associated with cardiorespiratory abnormalities and peripheral muscle discomfort are the major factors that limit exercise capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and those with congestive heart failure (CHF). Both of these symptoms negatively impact on patients’ daily physical activity levels. In turn, poor daily physical activity is commonly associated with increased rates of morbidity and mortality. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programmes partially reverse muscle weakness and dysfunction and increase functional capacity in both COPD and CHF. However, benefits gained from participation in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programmes are regressing soon after the completion of these programmes. Moreover, several barriers limit access and uptake of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programmes by eligible patients. A potential solution to the underutilisation of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is the implementation of tele-rehabilitation interventions at home using information and communications technologies. Thus, tele-rehabilitation may be useful to encourage and educate patients with COPD or CHF on how best to maintain and/or further enhance daily physical activity levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


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