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Open Access Review

Admission prevention in COPD: non-pharmacological management

Eui-Sik Suh12*, Swapna Mandal12 and Nicholas Hart123

Author Affiliations

1 Lane Fox Clinical Respiratory Physiology Research Centre, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

2 Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, King’s College London, London, UK

3 Lane Fox Respiratory Unit, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

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BMC Medicine 2013, 11:247  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-247

Published: 20 November 2013


Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are one of the commonest causes of hospital admission in Europe, Australasia, and North America. These adverse events have a large effect on the health status of the patients and impose a heavy burden on healthcare systems. While we acknowledge the contribution of pharmacotherapies to exacerbation prevention, our interpretation of the data is that exacerbations continue to be a major burden to individuals and healthcare systems, therefore, there remains great scope for other therapies to influence exacerbation frequency and preservation of quality of life. In this review, the benefits and limitations of pulmonary rehabilitation, non-invasive ventilation, smoking cessation, and long-term oxygen therapy are discussed. In addition, supported discharge, advanced care coordination, and telehealth programs to improve clinical outcome are reviewed as future directions for the management of COPD.

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