Only 10% of patients discharged after treatment for a COPD exacerbation receive pulmonary rehabilitation – even though a service was in place – claim researchers from one London hospital.
The 12-month audit of data from Hillingdon Hospital shows out of 448 discharges for COPD exacerbations only 43 received and completed pulmonary rehabilitation, despite a fully commissioned service being available nearby at Harefield Hospital.
Ninety referrals for post-hospitalisation rehabilitation had been made, although some patients did not start the process and others completed only part of it.
Lead researcher Sarah Jones, a research physiotherapist at Harefield Hospital, said: ‘Despite the strong evidence base, there are poor referral and uptake rates for early outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation following hospitalisation for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.’
The research is published in next month’s edition of the journal Thorax.