Non-pharmacological treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Enrico Clini, Stefania Costi, Silvano Lodi, Giuseppina Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Evidence-based guidelines on treatment of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have recently been developed. Non-pharmacological therapy of COPD has been receiving more interest and has been evolving rapidly in the last decade as an essential part of COPD treatment. In fact, non-pharmacological treatment is a complementary approach mainly in the advanced stages of COPD. Most of these care options appear to benefit patients in terms of quality of life and cost-effectiveness. The aim of the present review is to survey the most important non-pharmacological treatments for COPD (smoking cessation, rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation, and surgery) and their usefulness based on the currently available evidence. This review is based on an evaluation of the literature using a multimethod approach. A computerized MEDLINE search from 1966 through June 2003 was undertaken using the search terms pulmonary rehabilitation, surgery, smoking cessation, respiratory insufficiency/failure, and lung disease/obstructive. Non pharmacological treatment of COPD is a real option to successfully treat these patients and prevent further deterioration. All the included therapies are based on actual scientific evidence for patient benefits. To date, smoking cessation, comprehensive rehabilitation and long-term oxygen therapy are widely accepted as therapies which may positively impact the long-term management of COPD patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Science Monitor
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • Noninvasive mechanical ventilation
  • Oxygen
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Thoracic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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