UNC Pulmonary Rehabilitation program now open at Meadowmont

UNC now has a pulmonary rehabilitation program in the Physical Therapy department at the UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont.

UNC Pulmonary Rehabilitation includes a full evaluation of the patient’s current status and goals followed by a plan to help them reach their goals, keep them healthy and out of the hospital. Their walking tolerance, breathing patterns, strength, flexibility, oxygen needs and airway clearance needs are all evaluated and addressed.

Patients receive education on the lungs, lung disease, the benefits of exercise, smoking cessation, breathing and relaxation techniques, and they can attend the pulmonary psychosocial support group. This group meets once a month to address anxiety, depression, and the burdens these patients are facing. Referrals are made for 1:1 counseling if needed. Patients are screened for nutritional needs and education is provided, as well as referral to medical nutrition if appropriate and covered by their insurance.

The pulmonary rehab program typically involves visits 2-3 times per week for eight weeks, with a range from 4-12 weeks depending on the involvement of the patient. The program includes diagnosis specific groups including a COPD group and a lung transplant group. Whether the sessions are 1:1 or in a group atmosphere, the sessions help improved walking tolerance, overall endurance, strength, flexibility, breathing and relaxation with a plan to transition all of the patients to independent exercise routines.

The program is growing quickly with the addition of respiratory therapy and additional physical therapy coverage. To make a referral, please fax an MD order with diagnosis, demographics and insurance to 919-966-0348.

For questions, please call Tricia Agnoli, PT, MS, UNC Pulmonary Reahbilitation Coordinator, at 919-843-2164.