A study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine shows that pulmonary rehabilitation programs can significantly improve exercise ability, breathing, and overall quality of life in patients with pulmonary diseases and should be considered as “a first line therapy.”

Progressive fibrosis and chronic lung inflammation alters both structure and function of lung tissue. Patients often experience shortness of breath, tiredness, and muscle fatigue, all symptoms that severely impact their daily life activities and health-related quality of live (HRQoL).

Managing respiratory symptoms is critical for patients with pulmonary diseases, and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are one way of possibly achieving this goal.

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are based on tailored and supervised training in breathing techniques, and educational sessions to promote self-management of symptoms and physical activity. Such programs are known to ease both respiratory and non-respiratory symptoms — but evidence that they can promote meaningful clinical improvements in IFP patients is lacking, as is their potential impact on disease severity.