Pulmonary rehabilitation: promising nonpharmacological approach for treating asthma?
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
Asthma is a heterogeneous disease, usually characterized by chronic airway inflammation with a history of respiratory symptoms that vary over time and in intensity, together with variable expiratory airflow limitation. The goal of asthma treatment is to reach symptoms control, reduction in future risk and improvement in quality of life (QoL). Guideline-based pharmacologic therapies and the effect of inhaled steroids and bronchodilators have been widely studied over the past decades. We provide an overview of the available evidence on pulmonary rehabilitation as a nonpharmacologic therapy in asthmatic patients.
Recently, some studies have highlighted the promising role of nonpharmacologic therapies in asthma, such as pulmonary rehabilitation demonstrating that a pulmonary rehabilitation programme consisting of exercise training, breathing retraining, educational and psychological support, improve exercise capacity, asthma control and QoL and reduce dyspnea, anxiety, depression and bronchial inflammation at any step of the disease.
Pulmonary rehabilitation shows positive results on exercise tolerance, respiratory symptoms and QoL in asthmatic patients at any steps of the diseases. However, additional information is required to better characterize rehabilitation programmes in order to improve clinical care in asthma.