Objective: To investigate whether a 12-week pedometer-based exercise counseling strategy is feasible and effectively enhances daily physical activity in outclinic Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients who do not participate in a rehabilitation program in a controlled way.
Methods: 35 outclinic COPD patients (21 males, mean age 62 years, GOLD I-III, mean FEV(1)% predicted 64.7) were randomized for a 12-week individual pedometer-based exercise counseling program promoting daily physical activities or usual care. Daily physical activity (DigiWalker SW-200), physical fitness, health-related quality of life, self-efficacy, fatigue, depression and motivation to be physically active were assessed before and after the intervention.
Results: After the intervention, COPD patients in the exercise counseling group showed a significant increase in their mean number of steps/day (from 7087 to 7872), whereas the usual care group showed a decrease (from 7539 to 6172). Significant differences favoring the exercise counseling group were demonstrated in arm strength, leg strength, health-related quality of life and intrinsic motivation to be physically active.
Conclusion: Our study shows that a 12-week pedometer-based exercise counseling strategy is feasible and effectively enhances daily physical activity, physical fitness, health-related quality of life and intrinsic motivation in outclinic COPD patients who do not participate in a rehabilitation program.
Practice implications: The feasibility of our exercise counseling strategy is good and patients were motivated to participate.