Doctor listening to woman's chest on World COPD Day

World COPD Day (celebrated on the third Wednesday of November every year) aims to raise awareness of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease by improving care across the globe.

COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease which causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. It is also a collective name for a variety of lung diseases, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive airways disease.

Pulmonary rehab in COPD

There are approximately 300 million current cases of COPD in the world, a disease characterised by airflow obstruction, causing breathlessness. Furthermore, it is the third leading cause of death globally, with a high prevalence in low resource countries. Unfortunately it is not curable, but people can manage their symptoms to improve their quality of life. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), an evidence-based intervention, offers education and supervised exercise for people with COPD. However, uptake of pulmonary rehab is poor, sometimes due to fear of breathlessness.

Shortness of breath and difficult, laboured breathing (dyspnoea) is a common feature of COPD. Patients diagnosed with COPD will have weak inspiratory muscles.

Inspiratory muscle training in pulmonary rehab

Inspiratory muscle training with POWERbreathe is scientifically proven to strengthen the inspiratory muscles, and inspiratory weakness is a common symptom of COPD. A study in CHEST found IMT improved quality of life in patients with COPD, with improvements in:

  • Inspiratory muscle strength of 55% in patients
  • Breathing endurance of 86% in patients
  • Quality of life by 21% in patients
  • Dyspnoea by 36% in patients

The GOLD 2020 Strategy Report for the diagnosis, management and prevention of COPD, suggests incorporating inspiratory muscle training, such as with POWERbreathe IMT, into a pulmonary rehab programme.

A BMJ Open study assessed the acceptability of IMT as a treatment or precursor to PR in people with COPD. Using the POWERbreathe K3 IMT device, the study finds:

“This feasibility study of IMT in those who declined PR met its aims and was successful in showing that IMT could be easily implemented and IMT proved acceptable to participants.”

POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training Devices

World COPD Day

GOLD is the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease and every year they choose a theme to help raise awareness of COPD across the world. In liaison with the WHO, the theme this year is “Living Well with COPD – Everybody, Everywhere”. It’s likely that over 50 countries will carry out activities on this awareness day. As a consequence, this makes it the most important COPD awareness event in the world.

To view a free COPD Action plan, click here