Current Concepts and Definitions

  • Martijn Spruit
  • Linda NiciEmail author


The individual components of pulmonary rehabilitation have been provided as part of standard medical care for patients with chronic respiratory diseases for a very long time. Beginning in the 1960s, clinicians began to recognize that organizing these components into a comprehensive program could lead to substantial benefits for their patients [1]. These bundled interventions (typically walking exercises, supplemental oxygen therapy, bronchial hygiene techniques, and breathing retraining) were officially given the label of pulmonary rehabilitation by the American College of Chest Physicians in 1974, and in 1981 the American Thoracic Society published its first statement on pulmonary rehabilitation [2]. In the ensuing 35 years, numerous scientific advances both in our understanding of the systemic effects of chronic respiratory disease and the changes induced by the process of pulmonary rehabilitation have led to a broader application of this treatment modality in a wide range of settings leading to significant benefits for both the individual and society.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIROMaastricht University & Hasselt UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Providence VA Medical CenterRhode IslandUSA

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