The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

ADDING EXCITEMENT INTO PULMONARY REHABILITATION MAINTENANCE EXERCISE WITH “LUNG GAMES”

L. Junk2, H. Montilla1, G. Connors1, T. Malinowski2, J. Lamberti2


Background: Maintenance exercise is a critical component of comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Adding excitement into exercise for the chronic lung patient is challenging. Lung Games is the answer.

Methods: The project of planning and executing Lung Games can be achieved in PR. We appointed Lung Game coaches who developed our facility game plan from start to finish. We contacted PR experts in CA who had successfully run facility and state Lung Games for assistance. The minimum components needed to execute successful games are: an energetic committee, a facility for the sporting events, sponsors, the press and a torch bearer. What is unique about the lung games is the patient competes against himself. They predict their time or distance and the patient athlete who comes closest to their prediction wins. The events for the Lung Games are internationally established to include: 6 minute walk, rower, shuffleboard, table tennis, horseshoes, golf, swimming, stationary bike, golf putting, basketball shoot, bocce, softball throw, tennis, volleyball, and a game of knowledge. Our last event of the games was knowledge. We were proud of our patients as they answered the questions; the teaching that occurs in PR and maintenance paid off. The closing ceremonies awarded the event Medal winners for Gold, Silver and Bronze. Every Lung Game participant was a winner and went home with a medal.

Results: In the fall of 2005 we started planning our 1st Lung Games, 7 months later we held the games April 2006 with 30 patients and in May 2007 held our 2nd games with 29 patients. We were the first PR program in the state of VA to hold Lung Games and our team became the Old Dominion. In May 2006 we took 6 patients to the 2nd International Heart and Lung Games in Chicago, Ill and brought home the most medals. Patients that participated in the games had moderate to severe lung disease, including post lung transplant.

Conclusions: Patients are taught in PR to live a full life and Lung Games promote this. Another purpose is to increase the public and medical communities’ awareness of the benefits of PR for people with chronic lung disease. The spirit of the games is when you see the smiles on your patients’ faces, a day when participants come together not only as patients, but as athletes. This is a day on which patients are recognized for their efforts, what they have achieved through hard work and persistence in maintenance exercise.

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