Eléonore F van Dam van Isselt, Karin H Groenewegen-Sipkema,, Monica Spruit-van Eijk, Niels H Chavannes, Wilco P Achterberg

International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 3, 21 Mar 2013, pp 141 - 146

Considering the worldwide ageing of populations, there is a growing need for rehabilitation programmes specifically designed for geriatric patients. The authors developed and implemented a post-acute geriatric rehabilitation programme in a skilled nursing facility for patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)-the GR-COPD programme. This paper describes the characteristics of the programme and presents three case studies to illustrate its possible benefits for individual patients. The case studies show that integration of rehabilitation and palliative care components is essential, as patients with advanced COPD admitted to hospital for an acute exacerbation often suffer from high symptom burden, deteriorating quality of life, and poor prognosis. Development and implementation of a post-acute GR-COPD programme is feasible and can offer substantial benefits for patients with advanced COPD admitted to hospital for an acute exacerbation.

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