The Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center is designed to help people with pulmonary diseases including:
The program is designed to achieve a maximum level of functional independence. The program combines education, exercise and individual therapy. The program goals include:
- Decreasing respiratory symptoms
- Relieving anxiety and depression
- Increasing a patient's ability to perform the tasks of daily living
- Increasing capacity of exercise and endurance
- Improving a patient's ability to return to work
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team includes a medical specialist in pulmonary diseases, pulmonary nurse, respiratory therapist, physical therapist, nutritionist, pharmacist and, most importantly, the patient and his or her family. An exercise physiologist provides input on exercise prescriptions.
The Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program provides a full range of services, including:
- Individual evaluations
- Educational information
- Group support
- Individually designed, monitored and unmonitored exercise
- Mutual goal setting
- Therapeutic counseling
- Referrals for specialized services
- Post-program activity maintenance
- Home exercise prescription
The program includes sessions on Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm for eight consecutive weeks. Each visit lasts about three hours and includes aerobic conditioning based on a patient's individual abilities. Activities may include exercises such as stationary bicycling and paced walking on a treadmill. Patients are continuously monitored, and exercises are adjusted based on performance. Educational sessions include information on breathing techniques, relaxation, medications, inhaler and oxygen use and nutrition.
Pulmonary rehabilitation services are covered under Medicare. Saint Francis also accepts other major managed care and health insurance plans. To participate in the Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, a patient must meet the following criteria: Diagnosis of moderate to moderately severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema and chronic bronchitis). Freedom from other acute or chronic illnesses that might physically or emotionally prohibit participation in the program.