n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Role of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the promotion of cardiopulmonary health and rehabilitation

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The inclusion of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) with traditional therapies, although not well researched, may provide great benefits in the treatment and recovery of cardiopulmonary and hypoxic diseases. This review studied literature on the cardiopulmonary effects of HBOT and the use of HBOT in cardiopulmonary health promotion and rehabilitation. Medline, PubMed, Informahealth Care, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and the Cochrane Airways Group trials register, Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field trials register, EMBASE: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Field electronic databases were searched. Searches were undertaken of bibliographies and reference lists from the included publications and other appropriate papers were manually checked to identify studies not found through electronic searching. The scope of the review encapsulated the effectiveness, compliance with and strategies of traditional and complementary/alternative (CAM) therapies on cardiopulmonary health promotion and rehabilitation and the cardiopulmonary benefits associated with HBOT. The review indicated that psychological factors have an effect on non-compliance in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and the recovery of cardiopulmonary patients. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programmes should be more responsive to a client or patient's preferences. The inclusion of HBOT into cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programmes pre-operatively was found especially useful in patients who await surgical intervention, due to their increased exposure to opportunistic infections. Further, more than 10 sessions a week of HBOT were found to induce greater improvements in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. The inclusion of HBOT into a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programme appeared to improve depressive symptoms, neurological function, cardiac symptoms, cardiac output and quality of life and reduce the recovery time of pre- and post-operative cardiopulmonary patients. It can be concluded from the literature reviewed that the use of HBOT as an additive to traditional rehabilitation is a decisive treatment improving cardiorespiratory function which may lead to favorable outcomes in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and health promotion.

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