Revue des maladies respiratoires vol:21 issue:2 Pt 1 pages:319-27
INTRODUCTION: In the last decade pulmonary rehabilitation has become a well accepted treatment for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) suffering from persistent dyspnea and fatigue, despite appropriate medical treatment. STATE OF ART: Patients with COPD frequently have muscular dysfunction that can be corrected by appropriate exercise training programmes. Muscle function as measured by strength and endurance tests exercise capacity and also the health status and quality of life are improved by exercise and endurance training. However, integration of exercise training in a multidisciplinary management programme is necessary to take account of all aspects of the illness. PERSPECTIVES: Methods of exercise training need to be adapted for patients with severe COPD who are unable to undertake endurance training and for patients who obtain little benefit. CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary rehabilitation, thanks to its multidisciplinary nature, seems to be an effective modality of management for patients with COPD. However, the improvements in physical ability, quality of life and general health require an exercise training programme that is adapted for the individual patient.