6th April – 8th April 2017

European Respiratory Society Pulmonary Rehabilitation Course (Athens)

In April 2017, Arwel Jones, Alex Jenkins and Hayley Robinson, from the Lincoln Institute for Health (LIH), were lucky enough to attend the pulmonary rehabilitation course in Athens, run by the European Respiratory Society (ERS). This course covered many aspects and topics, with the overarching aim to describe the various components of pulmonary rehabilitation, as well as discuss and propose novel ways to optimise the efficacy of the programme.

The intense course was three days in duration, consisting of both lectures and workshops covering topics such as: strategies to implement and assess the efficacy of pulmonary rehabilitation, methods and tools to measure clinical outcomes, the facilitators and barriers to pulmonary rehabilitation, as well as the factors that affect behaviour change following pulmonary rehabilitation.

There was a vast array of attendees from all over the globe, with individuals’ professions ranging from clinicians, physiotherapists, social workers, researchers, etc. The interactive course encouraged attendees to report their experiences of pulmonary rehabilitation, as well as propose strategies that could benefit patients. Gaining insight from individuals with diverse backgrounds and views regarding pulmonary rehabilitation was extremely insightful and it was a pleasure to hear about a variety of scenarios and how these were dealt with. The opportunity to network with the variety of attendees was a great experience, paving the way for future collaborations and the generation of research ideas.

This course also provided Alex and Hayley with the opportunity to present their preliminary results from their ongoing systematic reviews. This opportunity was invaluable given the current stage of their reviews allowing for constructive feedback to be received from leading researchers and health care professionals within the field. The experience of presenting their work has positively influenced the research direction of their ongoing systematic reviews, as well as helping think about the research direction of their wider PhD.

Overall, the course was a rewarding experience, enhancing knowledge and providing valuable skills which will contribute to career development within their research area. Both PhD students are now well on their way with developing their final draft of their systematic reviews and are soon to be submitting their manuscript to a journal of their choice.