||Physical inactivity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with poor health status and increased disease burden. The present study aims to test the efficacy of a previously developed mobile (m)Health intervention to improve or maintain physical activity in patients with COPD after pulmonary rehabilitation.
A randomised controlled trial was performed in 32 physiotherapy practices in the Netherlands. COPD patients were randomised into intervention or usual care groups. The intervention consisted of a smartphone application for the patients and a monitoring website for the physiotherapists. Measurements were performed at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months. Physical activity, functional exercise capacity, lung function, health-related quality of life and body mass index were assessed.
157 patients started the study and 121 completed it. There were no significant positive effects of the intervention on physical activity (at 0 months: intervention 5824±3418 steps per weekday, usual care 5717±2870 steps per weekday; at 12 months: intervention 4819±2526 steps per weekday, usual care 4950±2634 steps per weekday; p=0.811) or on the secondary end-points. There was a significant decrease over time in physical activity (p<0.001), lung function (p<0.001) and mastery (p=0.017), but not in functional exercise capacity (p=0.585).
Although functional exercise capacity did not deteriorate, our mHealth intervention did not improve or maintain physical activity in patients with COPD after a period of pulmonary rehabilitation.