Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the care model for an illness that benefits from an active approach to managing chronic illness. COPD, if left to its natural course, is chronic and progressive with exacerbations or flare-ups that cause devastation, debilitation, and threaten survival. Chronic disease medicine synthesizes pulmonary rehabilitation and learning theory to create a lifetime system of care to redirect this course. Pulmonary rehabilitation is restorative and enabling. It teaches self management while building patient confidence through strength and endurance exercise training. However, pulmonary rehabilitation improves patient conditioning to a peak which dissolves over time. What is needed is a lifetime system of skills and habits that are reinforced through active practice over the life of the patient. The success of such an intervention is determined by the patient’s ability to progressively improve their ability to manage their disease in spite of the fact that the illness is progressive. One metric of success is the patient’s complete avoidance of hospital admissions for exacerbations. Another is whether the patient lives a more active lifestyle over time. These are the issues and goals of chronic disease medicine.
Chronic Disease medicine combines the forces of physiology, technology, behavior, education and problem serving to create clinical strategies for the lifetime care and control of chronic illnesses such as COPD. This website includes physiological variables as well as clinical management strategies for controlling chronic lung disease and enabling patients to live a rich and active life. Please click on the menu bar at the top to explore our site. Meanwhile, the video below describes oxygen transport and the interactive roles of lung circulation, and the tissues (cells,) and provides the basis for the benefits of regular exercise and an active lifestyle.