Continuing Medical Education

Non-pharmacological management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

S Abraham, G Symons


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality globally, contributing to a substantial
use of resources. According to World Health Organization estimates, 65 million people have moderate to severe COPD. The condition
is also recognised as a systemic disease with extrapulmonary manifestations, such as peripheral muscle dysfunction, malnutrition and
depression, which further contribute to disability, poor quality of life, exacerbations and mortality. Optimum management requires nonpharmacological
interventions combined with pharmacological treatment. However, the former is often neglected and not widely used in
daily practice, with the focus mainly on the latter.

Authors' affiliations

S Abraham, Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

G Symons, Division of Pulmonology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(9):789. DOI:10.7196/SAMJnew.8489

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-09-15
Date published: 2015-09-15

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