Behavioral Therapies to Treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Behavioral therapies used to treat COPD include the following:

Pulmonary Rehabilitation & COPD

Patients with COPD become physically unfit. Most hospitals offer pulmonary rehabilitation programs that can improve fitness, even in severe cases. The programs usually include exercises for the lower and upper extremities, education, breathing retraining, and psychosocial support. Exercising the legs particularly can improve endurance. Upper extremity exercises may be beneficial as well. Patients use a lot of energy and tire easily because they breathe rapidly and shallowly. Learning pursed-lip breathing can help relieve these symptoms.

Nutritional Support & COPD

Nutrition is critically important for patients who lose a lot of weight. High fat, low carbohydrate diets are recommended. If a patient is significantly overweight, losing weight may be appropriate.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 May 2000

Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015