A lifestyle activity intervention in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Respir Med. 2010 Jun;104(6):829-39. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2010.02.015. Epub 2010 Mar 26.


Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients have lower levels of physical activity compared to age-matched controls, and they limit physical activities requiring normal exertion. Our purpose was to compare the effectiveness of a traditional exercise therapy (TET) program with a behavioral lifestyle activity program (LAP) in promoting physical activity.

Methods: Moderate physical activity (kcal/week) was assessed in 176 COPD patients using the Community Health Activities Model for Seniors questionnaire. Patients were randomized to either a three month TET program that meet thrice weekly or a LAP. The LAP was designed to teach behavioral skills that encouraged the daily accumulation of self-selected physical activities of at least moderate intensity. Interventionist contact was similar (36 h) between the two groups. Patients were assessed at baseline and 3, 6 and 12 months.

Results: Compared to baseline values, self-reported moderate physical activity increased three months post-randomization with no significant difference (p = 0.99) found between the TET (2501 +/- 197 kcal/week) and the LAP (2498 +/- 211 kcal/week). At 6 and 12 months post-randomization, there were no significant differences (p = 0.37 and 0.69, respectively) in self-reported levels of moderate physical activity between the TET (2210 +/- 187 and 2213 +/- 218 kcal/week, respectively) and the LAP (2456 +/- 198 and 2342 +/- 232 kcal/week, respectively).

Conclusion: Although there was no difference between treatment groups, the TET and the LAP were both effective at in increasing moderate levels of physical activity at 3 months and maintaining moderate physical activity levels 12 months post-randomization. This clinical trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov. Its identifier is NCT00328484.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Reduction Behavior

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00328484