Article Text

Download PDFPDF
P83 Pulmonary rehabilitation in the COVID-19 era: service model redesign, patient’s digital access and choice
  1. S Lorenzo,
  2. K Brannelly,
  3. J Woolford,
  4. K Sawado,
  5. C Murray,
  6. L Holt,
  7. M Buxton
  1. West Herts Community Respiratory Service, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Hemel Hempstead, UK


Introduction Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is an evidenced based face-to-face group intervention. During the COVID-19 pandemic, non-essential face-to-face activity was suspended, including PR. Re-opening PR services in the new world of COVID-19 has required significant changes and innovation. However, this is dependent upon patients’ ability to access and manage virtual platforms.

Four different models of PR delivery were designed: two virtual and two non-virtual models:

  • Real Time Virtual PR (RTVPR): two classes per week via BlueJeans platform

  • Self-directed PR: video link for pre-recorded exercise and education with telephone support

  • Home Exercise PR Programme (HEP): education and exercise booklets with telephone support

  • Socially distanced face-to-face (F2F) PR

This study aims to explore PR patients’ digital access and their preferred PR choice.

Methods Patients were telephone screened with questions about their access to technology and their interest in participating in one of the four PR models. Questions asked:

  • digital access to computer, tablet, or mobile phone with audio, microphone, camera and internet access

  • willingness to download software and use virtual platforms

  • safe place to exercise at home

  • patient preference regarding delivery model of PR

  • ability to understand written instruction and literature

Results A total of 659 patients were screened and allocated a PR model based on their access and choice (Table 1); 367 (56%) had digital access. The most popular PR model chosen was RTVPR, followed by HEP. The least chosen models were Self-directed and F2F.

Abstract P83 Table 1

Patient Digital Access and Choice of PR Model

Conclusion In this study, 56% of patients had digital access versus 44% that did not. Of patients who had digital access, only 2% chose a non-virtual model, implying a lack of confidence in using technology. Most patients without digital access chose HEP rather than F2F.

The majority of all patients did not want face-to-face contact during COVID-19, which should be reflected in PR models provided during this pandemic. This presents major challenges to all PR providers. Further study regarding the outcomes of these models will be required.

  • PR
  • Virtual
  • Home-based exercise
  • COVID-19

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.