Objective: To determine the feasibility and efficacy of a six-month, cell phone-based exercise persistence intervention for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following pulmonary rehabilitation.
Methods: Participants who completed a two-week run-in were randomly assigned to either MOBILE-Coached (n = 9) or MOBILE-Self-Monitored (n = 8). All participants met with a nurse to develop an individualized exercise plan, were issued a pedometer and exercise booklet, and instructed to continue to log their daily exercise and symptoms. MOBILE-Coached also received weekly reinforcement text messages on their cell phones; reports of worsening symptoms were automatically flagged for follow-up. Usability and satisfaction were assessed. Participants completed incremental cycle and six minute walk (6MW) tests, wore an activity monitor for 14 days, and reported their health-related quality of life (HRQL) at baseline, three, and six months.
Results: The sample had a mean age of 68 +/-11 and forced expiratory volume in one second 18% predicted. Participants reported that logging their exercise and symptoms (FEV(1)) of 40 +/- was easy and that keeping track of their exercise helped them remain active. There were no differences between groups over time in maximal workload, 6MW distance, or HRQL (p > 0.05); however, MOBILE-Self-Monitored increased total steps/day whereas MOBILE-Coached logged fewer steps over six months (p =0.04).
Conclusions: We showed that it is feasible to deliver a cell phone-based exercise persistence intervention to patients with COPD post-rehabilitation and that the addition of coaching appeared to be no better than self-monitoring. The latter finding needs to be interpreted with caution since this was a purely exploratory study.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00373932).
Keywords: cell phones; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; exercise persistence; physical activity; pulmonary rehabilitation.