This article was originally published here
Life (Basel). 2022 Mar 15;12(3):425. doi: 10.3390/life12030425.
Exercise capacity and physical activity are different concepts: the former refers to what an individual is capable of performing, while the latter refers to what the individual does in daily life. Low levels of physical activity (PA), which are very common in individuals with COPD, are associated with poor health outcomes, including increased symptoms, a more rapid decline in lung function, increased health care utilization and increased mortality risk. Because of these pervasive negative outcomes, attempts have been made to increase physical activity in individuals with COPD, hoping that success in this area will mitigate the negative effects of inactivity. Based on its ability to increase exercise capacity and reduce dyspnea in COPD and other chronic respiratory diseases, pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) would be expected also increase physical activity in these patients. However, accessibility to pulmonary rehabilitation programs is problematic in some areas, and studies testing its effectiveness in this outcome area have had inconsistent results. Using telehealth interventions using technology to provide medical care conveniently over a distance would have the benefit of reaching a larger proportion of individuals with COPD. A systematic review of clinical trials testing telehealth to promote physical activity had mixed results and low-certainty evidence, resulting in the inability to recommend any single type of intervention. Thus, using telehealth interventions to promote physical activity for individuals with chronic respiratory diseases, while promising, remains an area where future investigations are needed to identify its optimal modalities and clarify its benefits.