Breathwise, a pulmonary rehabilitation programme based at The Wesley Hospital, focuses on a multi-disciplinary outpatient programme for patients with chronic lung disease, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Our team is headed by Dr Andrew Scott (Medical Director) and Jennifer Phillips (Senior Rehabilitation Physiotherapist) Jennifer.Phillips@uchealth.com.au. We include thoracic medical specialists, thoracic physiotherapists, nursing staff, occupational therapy staff, a clinical psychologist and pharmacist.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a proven self-management program that is effective in improving the quality of life of people with COPD, and importantly, reducing hospital admissions. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are suitable for people who have underlying chronic lung disease and who are limited by dyspnoea (sensation of breathlessness). This programme will address the primary aims of pulmonary rehabilitation, which are to reduce the disability and handicap of people with chronic lung diseases and to restore patients to the highest possible level of independent functioning.
In Australia only 1% of COPD patients who could benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation have access to it, prompting the development of this service in 2008. To date we have successfully treated many patients, with improvements in exercise and functional capacity, quality of life scores, independence with activities of daily living and comfort of breathing.