The celebration of Respiratory Rehabilitation Day began on 21 April 2016, on the initiative of the Portuguese Lung Foundation and endorsed by 12 other entities (medical societies and associations of health professionals and respiratory patients), including the Portuguese Association of Physiotherapists.
The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness among health policy-makers, health funding bodies, health professionals, respiratory patients and their families and society in general that Respiratory Rehabilitation (RR) is an intervention with proven benefits for health in its physical, psychological and social dimensions, It is estimated that only around 2-3% of patients who need it, have access to rehabilitation programmes adjusted to their needs, a situation that worsened greatly during the pandemic of COVID-19 and continues.
Respiratory physiotherapy (a component of the cardiorespiratory physiotherapy area) refers to the intervention of the physiotherapist in respiratory conditions, with disease or at risk of developing it, thus providing care within the scope of prevention, treatment, habilitation and rehabilitation.
Respiratory physiotherapy and the professional who carries it out, the physiotherapist, are fundamental elements that contribute to the improvement of the health condition of the respiratory patient (acute or chronic), whether integrated in multi-interdisciplinary RR teams or in a more direct practice context not framed in the concept of Respiratory Rehabilitation. We also highlight the enormous contribution that physiotherapists, at a national and international level, have given to the increase of knowledge, evidence and implementation of Respiratory Rehabilitation, including new practice models (telerehabilitation, home-based and web-based).