We need to make sure physical therapy takes into account your characteristics

Fran has lived with a lung condition for more than 20 years. She was referred to pulmonary rehabilitation by her hospital consultant and attended a 6-week course.

Fran feels that although PR can be a positive experience for some patients, it failed to be of real benefit to her for a number of reasons.

Fran, who has aspergillosis and bronchiectasis, said: “PR is basically a COPD tool. It is a one-size-fits-all intervention, and a lot of the education components did not apply to me.”

“The exercises which I need to do in the morning or during the day during flare-ups were shown to me in hospital by a respiratory physiotherapist. As the patient needs to be situated on a bed to do chest contractions and expansions there are good reasons why PR cannot cover this in practice.”

The distant location of the PR course was also a problem for Fran, who was still in full-time employment. She had to make up the hours lost in travelling to and attending the course by working late in the evening.

“The starting point should be the diagnosis to ensure that any physical therapy under consideration is fully aligned with the patient condition’s key characteristics,” Fran said.

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19 December 2019