08 June 2017
Pulmonary rehabilitation is effective in all stages of COPD. The availability and utilization of pulmonary rehabilitation resources, and the characteristics of COPD patients receiving rehabilitation, were investigated in primary and secondary care in central Sweden.
Data on available pulmonary rehabilitation resources were collected using questionnaires, to 14 hospitals and 54 primary health care centers, and information on utilization of different rehabilitation professionals was obtained from questionnaires completed by 1,329 COPD patients from the same centers. Multivariable logistic regression examined associations with having received rehabilitation in the previous year.
In primary care, nurse-based asthma/COPD clinics were common (87%), with additional separate access to other rehabilitation professionals. In secondary care, rehabilitation was more often offered as part of a multidisciplinary teamwork (71%). In total, 36% of the patients met an asthma/COPD nurse in the previous year. Utilization was lower in primary than in secondary care for physiotherapists (7% vs 16%), occupational therapists (3% vs 10%), nutritionists (5% vs 13%), and counselors (1% vs 4%). A higher COPD Assessment Test score and frequent exacerbations were associated with higher utilization of all rehabilitation professionals.