Pulmondary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

For More Information

For more information about the Phoenixville Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program or Easy Breathers, call 610-983-1243.


Phoenixville Hospital’s comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program is well known for providing targeted, personalized care to patients. Through relationships with the lung reduction and the lung transplantation programs at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University Lung Center, our program works with a variety of patients, including those severely debilitated by pulmonary illnesses.

People with illnesses such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma often lose their ability to function normally. If you are coping with such a disease, you may have noticed that wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue can make your everyday tasks seem more difficult. These symptoms can interfere with walking, climbing stairs, performing household chores and even taking a shower.

Seeing your physician regularly and taking prescribed medications can help control your symptoms, and a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program may enhance your quality of life and even help reverse some of the disabling effects of your pulmonary disease. Patients with limited pulmonary function due to respiratory disease are candidates for pulmonary rehabilitation.

For greatest success, patients should be self-motivated and committed to participation.

The following conditions are appropriate for pulmonary rehabilitation:

  • Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • COPD
  • Asthma
  • Asthmatic bronchitis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis

Restrictive Pulmonary Disease

  • Interstitial fibrosis
  • Rheumatoid pulmonary disorders
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Kyphoscoliosis
  • Severe obesity

Other Conditions

  • Pulmonary vascular disease
  • Lung resection
  • Lung transplantation
  • Occupational or environmental lung disease
  • Lung reduction surgery

Program Information

Phoenixville Hospital’s outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program meets twice a week for 12-18 weeks, depending on insurance coverage.

Each two-hour session uses education and exercise to:

  • Help reduce respiratory symptoms
  • Optimize your capability of performing daily activities
  • Address the psychological and physical aspects of everyday living with respiratory disease.

The program’s coordinator is a registered respiratory therapist who, under the direction of a physician specializing in pulmonology, will help you establish an individualized exercise program to attain your goals for rehabilitation.

Entering the Program

To enter the program, participants must have a referral from their primary physician. Before beginning the program, participants are required to complete:

  • A low-level stress test (to evaluate current physical ability)
  • Pulmonary function test (to determine lung capacity)
  • These tests need to be ordered by the primary physician or specialist at the time of referral

Exercise Conditioning

An individualized exercise program is designed for each patient. All exercises are performed with continuous monitoring of arterial oxygen saturation and cardiac activity. A gradual increase in exercise is emphasized, with formal goal setting. Exercises may include:

  • Aerobic conditioning
  • Strength and flexibility exercises
  • Breathing retraining
  • Daily living exercises

When You Complete the Program

Participants will be encouraged to continue their exercise plans at home or continue in our extension program for a minimal fee. Lifestyle changes such as daily walks, breathing exercises and proper nutrition planning will continue to help clients control their disease. Participants are encouraged to become members of the hospital’s Easy Breathers support group, which meets bi-monthly to share ideas and information for people living with lung disease.


Most insurance companies, including Medicare, Blue Cross and HMOs, will cover the cost of this program. However, participants are encouraged to inquire if their personal insurance plan covers these expenses. There may be a co-pay depending on the insurance plan.