Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is an important, evidence-based treatment that improves outcomes for people with COPD. Individualized exercise programmes aim to improve exercise capacity; self-management education and psychological support are also provided. Translating increased exercise capacity into sustained behavioural change of increased physical activity is difficult. Other unresolved problems with PR programmes include improving uptake, completion, response and sustaining long-term benefit. We offer a different perspective drawn from clinical experience of PR, quantitative and qualitative studies of singing groups for people with COPD, and stroke rehabilitation research that gives psychological factors a more central role in determining outcomes after PR. We discuss Take Charge; a simple but effective psychological intervention promoting self-management––that could be used as part of a PR programme or in situations where PR was declined or unavailable. This may be particularly relevant now when traditional face-to-face group programmes have been disrupted by COVID-19 precautions.
McNaughton, A., Levack, W., & McNaughton, H. (2020). Taking charge: A proposed psychological intervention to improve pulmonary rehabilitation outcomes for people with copd. International Journal of COPD, 15, 2127–2133. https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S267268