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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 59-63

Barriers to pulmonary rehabilitation – A narrative review and perspectives from a few stakeholders

1 Department of Physiotherapy, Manipal College of Health Professions, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Anup Bhat
Department of Physiotherapy, Manipal College of Health Professions, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/lungindia.lungindia_116_20

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Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is an essential and comprehensive intervention recommended in the management of people with chronic respiratory diseases (CRD). Scientific evidence suggests significant health benefits with respect to repeated hospital admissions, exercise tolerance and Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). However, the uptake and completion of PR programs are globally low. In order to understand the factors contributing to underutilization of PR, it is important to review and recognize the barriers to PR program. A literature search was conducted on Medline (PubMed) database. After reviewing the title and abstracts, full text articles were scrutinized for their relevance. Twenty-two studies involving factors affecting the uptake, participation and completion of PR program were included in this review. Reported barriers to PR were healthcare system, healthcare professional and patient related factors. Primary factors related to healthcare system and healthcare professionals were fewer PR centers, accessibility inconvenience, lack of awareness of PR program, low knowledge of referral process and lack of interdisciplinary teamwork. Difficulties faced by patients to take up and/or to complete PR programs were lack of transportation, co-morbidities, lack of perceived benefits, socio-economic status and lack of funding facilities. Identified and reported barriers resulted into discontinuity between knowledge of health benefits and utilization of PR service for patients with CRDs. Addressing the barriers would accelerate the healthcare professionals' referral and patients to avail the health benefits of rehabilitation service.

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