Background: Pulmonary rehabilitation programs only modestly enhance daily physical activity levels in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This randomised controlled trial investigates the additional effect of an individual activity counselling program during pulmonary rehabilitation on physical activity levels in patients with moderate to very severe COPD.
Methods: Eighty patients (66 ± 7 years, 81% male, forced expiratory volume in 1 second 45 ± 16% of predicted) referred for a six-month multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation program were randomised. The intervention group was offered an additional eight-session activity counselling program. The primary outcomes were daily walking time and time spent in at least moderate intense activities.
Results: Baseline daily walking time was similar in the intervention and control group (median 33 [interquartile range 16-47] vs 29 [17-44]) whereas daily time spent in at least moderate intensity was somewhat higher in the intervention group (17[4-50] vs 12[2-26] min). No significant intervention*time interaction effects were observed in daily physical activity levels. In the whole group, daily walking time and time spent in at least moderate intense activities did not significantly change over time.
Conclusions: The present study identified no additional effect of eight individual activity counselling sessions during pulmonary rehabilitation to enhance physical activity levels in patients with COPD.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov NCT00948623.