Long-term telerehabilitation of COPD patients in their homes: interim results from a pilot study in Northern Norway

J Telemed Telecare. 2013 Oct;19(7):425-9. doi: 10.1177/1357633X13506514.


We investigated the feasibility of a long-term telerehabilitation service for COPD patients comprising exercise training at home, telemonitoring and education/self-management. The service was offered as a 2-year follow-up programme by a physiotherapist. Equipment included a treadmill, a pulse oximeter and a tablet computer. Participants had weekly videoconference sessions with the physiotherapist. A website was used to access a training programme and to fill in a daily diary and a training diary. Ten patients with moderate or severe COPD participated in a pilot study in Northern Norway. After more than one year, all participants were still participating actively and no drop-outs had occurred. On average, there were 2.0 training sessions/week, 3.3 measurements/week registered via the website and 0.5 videoconference contacts/week. There was a reduction of 27% in the COPD-related hospital costs. Feedback from the participants was very positive. Long-term telerehabilitation of COPD patients at home is feasible and interim results suggest that it reduces healthcare utilization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Hospital Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Videoconferencing / standards
  • Young Adult