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Organization of pulmonary rehabilitation in the Netherlands

As described in the latest ATS/ERS Statement, pulmonary rehabilitation for people with chronic respiratory disease is defined as a comprehensive intervention based on a thorough patient assessment followed by patient tailored therapies (1). These therapies include exercise training, education and behavior change (1) and should be implemented by a dedicated, interdisciplinary team, including physicians and other health care professionals. The intervention should be individualized to the unique needs of the patient, based on initial and ongoing assessments, including disease severity, complexity and comorbidities. The goals of pulmonary rehabilitation include minimizing symptom burden, maximizing exercise performance, promoting autonomy, increasing participation in everyday activities, enhancing (health-related) quality of life, and effecting long-term health-enhancing behavior change.

Although all pulmonary rehabilitation programs share essential features, the available resources, program setting, structure, personnel and duration vary considerably among different health care systems (2) . The film ‘Integrated approach to chronic respiratory diseases’ provides an overview of the organisation of pulmonary rehabilitation in the six Lung Centres in the Netherlands. These centres offer state-of-the-art pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with chronic respiratory diseases in line with the latest ATS/ERS Statement. In the film, the diagnostic and therapeutic processes are shown and explained by the local professionals. The purpose of the film is to inspire other health care professionals around the world to provide the best pulmonary rehabilitation possible with respect to  regional differences in local health care systems and development. More information about the Dutch Lung Centres can be found at: www.longcentranederland.nl


  1. Spruit MA, Singh SJ, Garvey C, ZuWallack R, Nici L, ... An Official American Thoracic Society / European Respiratory Society Statement: Key concepts and advances in pulmonary rehabilitation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013.

  2. Spruit MA, Pitta F, Garvey C, ZuWallack RL, Roberts CM, Collins EG, et al. Differences in content and organisational aspects of pulmonary rehabilitation programmes. Eur Respir J. 2014 May;43(5):1326-37. PubMed PMID: 24337043.