Rehabilitation and palliative care in lung fibrosis


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Abstract

The idiopathic interstitial pneumonias are a heterogeneous group of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases with varying degrees of inflammation and fibrosis, like interstitial pulmonary fibrosis. Functional exercise tolerance and quality of life have been shown to be significantly affected in patients with lung fibrosis. Moreover, interstitial pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease with poor prognosis and limited response to conventional pharmacological treatment like immunosuppressive agents. So, in patients with lung fibrosis there seems a clear indication to refer them for comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation programmes and to initiate palliative care in an early phase of the disease. In the current review we will present a rationale for pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with lung fibrosis and the effects of this type of non-pharmacological intervention on exercise capacity and quality of life. In addition, we will discuss possibilities for palliative care in these patients.

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