New video-based Pulmonary Rehabilitation Education support programme available from

From today, Monday, 26th April, 2021, a new video-based Pulmonary Rehabilitation Education support programme for people with long-term lung conditions is now freely accessible on

The multi-disciplinary programme was produced by the HSE National Clinical Programme for Respiratory and is comprised of 14 videos that cover a range of topics including breathing exercises, oxygen therapy, nutrition and psychological supports, promoting self-management and coping skills for people living with a COPD and asthma.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programmes provide exercise and education to adults living with long-term lung conditions. Research shows that completing a course of Pulmonary Rehabilitation and learning to self-manage a lung condition may help to shorten time spent in hospital or even prevent a hospital stay. In fact, pulmonary rehabilitation has been shown to be just as effective in many cases as pharmacological therapy.

Presented by 12 different healthcare professionals who have experience in Pulmonary Rehabilitation and using evidence-based techniques, the resources will help to provide education and support to patients as part of Pulmonary Rehabilitation services delivered throughout the country. The video series also includes a testimonial from a patient who has first-hand experience of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme as well as an introduction from a Consultant Respiratory Physician.

Alison Iremonger, who is living with COPD, completed a course of pulmonary rehabilitation and says the programme has given her hope. Alison says: “Prior to doing the Pulmonary Rehab Programme, I had started to give up on myself; just accepting my condition. When the HSE contacted me to discuss the rehabilitation programme and asked me to participate, I realised there are still people willing to invest in me. This gave me hope.

“After the first 1-1 session with Brian Fitzgibbons, Senior Physiotherapist, I recognised I had to 'own' my COPD diagnosis and it was up to me if I wanted to make things better for myself. It motivated me to give up smoking, to put on a pair of runners and do simple exercises that I never did in my life before. I enjoyed the online classes, talking to others who were in a similar position to myself.   

“I learned so much about COPD and how I can self-manage some of the elements of the condition.  I now have a contact and know who to turn to if I need advice or support.

“I would like to thank everyone from the HSE, especially Brian who kept me motivated and positive through the programme.”

Welcoming the introduction of the videos, Dr Des Murphy, Clinical Lead for the HSE National Clinical Programme for Respiratory, said: “These videos are a great asset for both adults who require pulmonary rehabilitation and for healthcare professionals involved in delivering supports to the respiratory community. Centralising expert advice from 12 different healthcare professionals in one place presents an important resource and toolkit that will support people to manage long-term lung conditions.

“The videos were developed in response to a need identified by healthcare professionals delivering the in-person Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme, whereby accessing all 12 experts in a face-to-face setting is extremely challenging. This video programme enables people to access the full suite of advice and education. In addition, patients can watch the videos online, any time they wish, as a reminder of what they learned.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who gave their time to create this important resource.”

This suite of videos is designed to support people to become active partners in managing their healthcare needs. It helps them to gain better understanding of the physical and psychological changes that occur with chronic illness and, by using these resources; it is hoped that people will become more skilled at collaborative self-management and more adherent to their treatment plans. It promotes behaviour change and increased knowledge in areas such as medication management, healthy eating, and dealing with anxiety and depression, coping with breathlessness and planning for the future. These videos will help empower people to make informed decisions on their current and future care.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is currently available in respiratory integrated care demonstrator sites, as well as COPD Outreach sites and some acute hospitals across the country, with approximately 5,000 patients completing a course of pulmonary rehabilitation in 2019.

In 2021, as part of the HSE National Service Plan, the HSE intends to introduce full time pulmonary rehabilitation teams across the new chronic disease hubs which are currently being rolled out nationally.




Last updated on: 26 / 04 / 2021