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Over the years, the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has evolved, but given the high mortality and morbidity of COPD, much work still needs to be done. To date, none of the existing pharmacological therapies for COPD has been shown conclusively to modify the long-term decline in lung function. Several trials have been completed to evaluate options that can improve patient symptoms and quality of life.
Optimal management for patients with COPD requires both pharmacological and non-pharmacological managements. Some of the non-pharmacological options for the management of COPD like Oxygen therapy have proven reduction in mortality and mortality, and an improvement in the quality of life. Lung transplant is the only treatment that can stop the decline in lung function. Smoking cessation is the non-pharmacological intervention with the greatest capacity to influence the natural course of COPD. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are evidence based, multidisciplinary and comprehensive interventions for patients with COPD. These programs involve patient assessment, exercise training, education, nutrition and psychosocial support. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to reduce symptoms, optimize functional status, increase participation and reduce health care cost through stabilizing or reversing systemic manifestations of the disease.
This article discusses the most used non pharmacological management of COPD and their usefulness in relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life for patients with severe COPD. These treatment options are used in addition to optimal pharmacological therapy.
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