The non-pharmacological management of COPD is a neglected area in the treatment of respiratory diseases
The original publication is available at http://www.cmej.org.za/index.php/cmej
An almost uniformly neglected area of respiratory disease management is the non-pharmacological component. Most patients with chronic respiratory illnesses will lose their exercise capacity (deconditioning) as the illness progressively limits physical activity. It is usually not appreciated that as medication improves the disease state and static lung function, normalisation of physical activities does not automatically ensue – it has to be re-established. Many patients with obstructive lung disease will inappropriately use rescue bronchodilator therapy when experiencing dyspnoea with exertion, whereas the real problem is that of deconditioning.