ERS Data Support Web-Based Management to Increase Physical Activity in COPD Population

Article

These data support web-based self-management for individuals with COPD with an objective, clinically relevant, short-term increase in physical activity levels compared to usual care.

ERS Data Support Web-Based Management to Increase Physical Activity in COPD Population

Andre Nyberg, PhD

Previous research has shown that physical activity is crucial for the health of those living with COPD, and even that self-management support can increase the effectiveness of physical activity.

However, the specific effects of web-based self-management for supporting physical activity in these individuals were investigated by a team of researchers. The results were presented by Andre Nyberg, PhD, Department of Psychology, Umeå University at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress 2022.

“There is, today, limited evidence in support of commonly used strategies such as exercise training, physical activity counseling, or pharmacological management,” Nyberg said in his presentation. “Optimal timing, components, or even mode of intervention, is still unclear, and new and alternative strategies are urgently warranted.”

COPD Care With and Without COPD Web Access

The team conducted a randomized controlled trial with 146 patients with mild-severe COPD who were allocated to either the intervention group or the control group. The study population had a mean age of 69.5 years, and a mean forced expiratory volume (FEV1) score of 60.7.

For the duration of the study, participating patients continued their usual care and were given a pedometer along with education on the importance of physical activity. The intervention group also received access to an interactive website to support self-management in COPD and physical activity called COPD Web.

Physical activity was measured via validated accelerometers for 7 days at baseline and then again at 3 months. The primary outcome was the average number of steps taken per weekday, which investigators analyzed with ANCOVA.

Comparing Physical Activity Levels

Physical activity levels were similar among the 2 groups at baseline with the median for the intervention group being 5549 steps per day and for the control group, the median number of steps per day was 5288.

However, investigators observed a significant difference between the groups at the 3-month mark. The intervention group surpassed the control group with an average of 1167 more steps per day after having access to COPD Web.

These data support web-based self-management for individuals with COPD with an objective, clinically relevant, short-term increase in physical activity levels compared to usual care.

“This randomized controlled trial strengthens the evidence that web-based self-management support might be a promising strategy to improve physical activity in COPD,” investigators concluded.

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