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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter starts with a description of the main disease characteristics and psychosocial consequences of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a multisystem disease with significant comorbidities. Comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation programs (PRPs) aim at tackling these systemic consequences of COPD by combining self-management education, exercise training, nutritional intervention, and psychosocial and support interventions. Research on the effects of psychosocial interventions within programs is scarce. Studies on cognitive-behavioral interventions for anxiety and depression provide proof that a combination of strategies can add extra results to the positive effects that pulmonary rehabilitation in itself has on COPD symptoms. The results from studies on relaxation techniques for stress management and relieving breathlessness do not suggest much specific benefit for progressive muscle relaxation or other strategies. Currently, the evidence is largely absent that should guide “who does what and how“in the psychosocial components of pulmonary rehabilitation.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary rehabilitation programs (PRPs), systemic consequences, psychosocial interventions, cognitive behavioral interventions, anxiety and depression

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