Who Is The Program For?

Australian/New Zealand guidelines state that PR should be recommended for:

  • People with stable COPD of all severities (i.e. mild to severe); (strong recommendation, moderate quality evidence).
  • People with COPD after a hospitalisation for an exacerbation (ideally PR should be accessed within two weeks of hospital discharge); (weak recommendation, moderate quality evidence).
  • People with bronchiectasis, interstitial lung disease or pulmonary hypertension; (weak recommendation, moderate quality evidence).

Specific eligibility criteria are outlined in the table below:

Eligibility Criteria
Include patients who have any of these criteria:
  • Have a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or other respiratory conditions such as bronchiectasis, interstitial lung disease, chronic asthma, lung cancer or pulmonary hypertension.
  • Are recovering from an acute exacerbation of their condition.
  • Are willing to participate (even if they are on long-term oxygen therapy or are current smokers).
  • Are at any stage of their disease.
Exclude patients who have any of these criteria:
  • Have severe cognitive impairment.
  • Have severe psychotic disturbance.
  • Have a relevant infectious disease.
Exclude patients from the exercise component if they have any of these criteria:
  • Musculoskeletal or neurological disorders that prevent exercise.
  • Unstable cardiovascular disease (e.g. unstable angina, aortic valve disease, unstable pulmonary hypertension).

In pulmonary hypertension patients with right heart failure, pericardial effusion, NYFC IV symptoms, syncope, sepsis and unstable blood pressure requiring inotropic support should not be considered for pulmonary rehabilitation. Newly diagnosed patients with pulmonary hypertension should be stabilised on therapy for 2 months prior to commencing exercise.

Factors that DO NOT affect suitability:

  • Degree of lung function / disease severity
  • Presence of chronic respiratory conditions other than COPD (e.g. Bronchiectasis)
  • Age
  • Extent of disability / functional exercise limitations
  • Need for LTOT
  • Smoking status
  • Recent acute exacerbation.

The Toolkit

Getting Started
Getting Started
Patient Assessment
Patient Assessment
Exercise Training
Exercise Training
Patient Education
Patient Education
Patient Re-assessment
Patient Re-Assessment
Additional Resources
Additional Resources

Endorsed by the following organisations according to their respective approved criteria: