Feasibility of RESP-FIT: Technology-Enhanced Self-Management Intervention for Adults with COPD

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2021 Dec 3:16:3263-3273. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S326675. eCollection 2021.


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with substantial functional morbidity, including activity-limiting symptoms such as dyspnea and fatigue. Self-management interventions aid in symptomatic management of COPD and have been shown to produce positive outcomes on quality of life (QOL) and reduce hospital admissions.

Purpose: The purpose of this randomized controlled longitudinal pilot study was to assess feasibility of the combined Respiratory Fitness (RESP-FIT) + Smartphone Airway Management System (SAMS) program, a 6-week, self-management, technology-enhanced respiratory muscle strength training (RMST) mHealth intervention.

Patients and methods: Feasibility was assessed by evaluating recruitment, retention, acceptability, adherence, and safety data. Data were collected from 30 participants (15 in intervention group, 15 in control) at 3 time points (baseline, 6 weeks, and 14 weeks). The intervention group was requested to perform RMST at regular intervals during the week (5 breaths, 5 times a day, 5 days a week). Bluetooth enabled tracking was used to track training sessions. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Recruitment was staggered for device usage and was completed in 57 weeks, with near 90% retention from baseline to end-of-intervention. Mobile application rating scale scores and interview data indicated moderate satisfaction. Participants completed 14,388 actions in the app. The most commonly used features were recording of daily symptoms via ecological momentary assessment (EMA) and tracking RMST if assigned to training sessions. Training days were successfully captured using EMA, but Bluetooth enabled training tracking was found to be not feasible. Overall, participants reported satisfaction with the RESP-FIT + SAMS mHealth intervention and found it acceptable.

Conclusion: RESP-FIT is feasible and enables real-time COPD symptom assessment in the home environment, but additional work is needed to integrate Bluetooth technology into the platform. Ongoing investigations focus on the accuracy of symptom perception, self-efficacy, and momentary factors that impact adherence behaviors.

Keywords: COPD; mobile health; respiratory muscle strength training; self-management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Self-Management*
  • Technology