COPD patients who were given a pedometer and participated in a web-based intervention that helped them set physical activity goals, provided feedback and disease self-management education, and offered a community forum were less likely to experience an acute exacerbation (AECOPD) than those patients who received only the pedometer, according to a randomized, controlled trial presented at ATS 2019.

Researchers enrolled US veterans with stable COPD. Patients received either a pedometer alone (control) or a pedometer plus access to an interactive website with feedback, goal-setting, disease education, and an online community forum (ESC intervention). Participants were surveyed on their exercise self-efficacy at baseline and 3 months post-intervention.

According to results, only in the control group was there a significant relationship between baseline self-efficacy and change in PA. In the intervention group, all participants increased their average daily step count regardless of baseline self-efficacy.

Among those assigned to the intervention, the reduction in exacerbations over a year of followup occurred despite the fact that their level of physical activity at 6 and 12 months was no higher than the pedometer-only patients.