Person-centered approach in pulmonary rehabilitation

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Latinka Basara
T Jalucic Gluncic
O Maletic
D Pelicaric
S Popovic Grle
M Samarzija
M Jakopovic


Background. Holistic scope in treating persons with chronic respiratory diseases is one of the main features of pulmonary rehabilitation program (PRP) at Zagreb University. Interventions are provided by a team made of physicians and other health care professionals - physiotherapists, respiratory therapists, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, behavioral specialists, among others. The program itself is tailored to attend to each person's specific needs through careful interdisciplinary examination and treatment planning, establishing commom ground to address disease severity, respiratory symptoms, comorbidities, psychological manifestations and specific limitations a person has in everyday activities. The focus of PRP is the whole person rather than just a person's disease.Aim. To show the impact of PRP's person-centered approach on patient's quality of life (QoL), anxiety, depression and stress levels.Method. Questionnaires designed to measure quality of life (single question scale), anxiety, depression and stress (DASS21) were administred to 54 patients at the beginning and at the end of a three-week pulmonary rehabilitation program. Each patient underwent an individualized program of education, respiratory exercises, nutrition consultation, and psychosocial/behavioral support and intervention.Results. Results showed significant improvement in all measured parameters – higher overall QoL (p<0.01), and lowered anxiety (p< 0.01), depression (p<0.01) and stress levels (p< 0.01).Conclusions. Pulmonary rehabilitation with a person-centered approach as one of its main features appears to improve quality of life and reduce levels of anxiety, depression and stress in persons with chronic respiratory diseases.  

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