Non-pharmacologic Intervention

Smoking cessation

Smoking cessation is the intervention with the greatest capacity to influence the natural history of COPD and should be considered paramount for all COPD patients, regardless of disease severity.1

Physical activity

Daily physical activity is recommended for all patients with COPD, regardless of disease severity. Not only does it have beneficial effects on pulmonary rehabilitation, it also has important general health benefits, such as primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.1


Depending on local policies, availability and affordability, patients with COPD should be considered for vaccination against influenza and pneumococcal infection.1

Pulmonary rehabilitation

The main goals of pulmonary rehabilitation are to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and increase physical and emotional participation in day-to-day activities.3,4 All patients with COPD appear to benefit from rehabilitation and maintenance of physical activity, by improving their exercise tolerance and experiencing diminished dyspnoea and fatigue.5 The GOLD strategy document, recommends pulmonary rehabilitation for patients in categories B–D.1