Purpose: To understand the lived experience of pulmonary rehabilitation participants and identify the characteristics of a successful pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) program in a rural community. This study also evaluated the impact on accessibility and feasibility of a modified pilot program.
Methods: Four participants were recruited using purposive sampling. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews. Informed consent was obtained from participants. Data were coded and grouped according to themes identified from interview transcripts.
Findings: Themes identified for characteristics of a successful rural pulmonary rehabilitation program included communication, program delivery methods, and participant attitude and resilience. Modification of the traditional program increased access to a previously underserviced community and was found to be effective.
Conclusion: The study findings validate both current PR and pilot programs offered by the health region, as well as, provide suggestions for future changes for rural pulmonary rehabilitation program quality improvement.