Determinants of frequency, duration, and continuity of home walking in patients with COPD

Geriatr Nurs. May-Jun 2011;32(3):178-87. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2011.01.011. Epub 2011 Apr 17.


The purpose of this study was to identify determinants of frequency (days per week), duration (minutes per session), and continuity (persistence over 1 year) of home walking in 103 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who participated in a dyspnea self-management program. Dimensions of home walking exercise were measured by logs and reports of biweekly telephone calls with the intervention nurse. The selection of personal, cognitive, and environmental determinants of home walking was guided by social cognitive theory. Participants walked more frequently if they were exercising before they entered the study, had less depressive symptoms, and were living with friends or family. Duration of walks was influenced by supervised exercise training; living with spouse, friends, or family; and physical conditioning. Participants who walked most consistently over the course of the year had more supervised exercise sessions as part of the dyspnea self-management program, exercised regularly before entering the program, and perceived a gain in social support over the year. These findings can be used to tailor exercise interventions to the specific needs of patients and improve the likelihood of consistent exercise participation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Care*
  • Walking*