n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Non-pharmacological management of COPD : main article

Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



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. Practitioners often do not have time to define this problem carefully or advise patients adequately. A careful history and evaluation of patients will delineate the precise reason for dyspnoea and the appropriate management.

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