Background Evidence suggests that patients with COPD struggle to maintain improved physical activity (PA) after completing pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Smartphone applications (apps) providing a comprehensive training programme have conferred healthy benefits. This study was conducted to determine whether regular usage of an app maintains PA following PR.
Methods Patients with stage II–IV COPD were enrolled in a 6-month trial following PR. After the screening period, participants were randomised into the Kaia COPD app group (intervention group (IG)) or the control group (CG). The primary outcome was PA (daily steps), measured using an activity tracker. Secondary outcomes included the COPD Assessment Test (CAT), the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ) and the 1 min Sit-to-Stand Test (STST).
Results Sixty participants completed the study. The median steps from baseline to 6 months were significantly different between the groups, in favour of the IG (−105.3, IQR −1970.1 to 2105.8, vs CG −1173.0, IQR −3813.1 to –93.8; p=0.007). CAT was significantly decreased in the IG (15.1±8.6 vs 19.7±6.4, p=0.02), whereas the CRQ subdomains for dyspnoea (4.5±1.7 vs 3.7±1.3, p=0.033) and fatigue (4.5±1.4 vs 3.5±1.3, p=0.028) improved significantly in the IG. The STST at 6 months was not significant. Sleep duration and sleep efficiency showed no significant differences between the two groups at any time.
Conclusions A comprehensive program by using the Kaia app following PR maintained PA and improved symptoms in patients with COPD at 6 months. The app might be an important accessory tool for enhanced COPD care.
Trial registration number DRKS00017275.
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation
- COPD Pathology
Data availability statement
Deidentified and aggregated participant data are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request, subject to approval by an independent ethics committee.
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Contributors MS was the principal investigator for Switzerland and supervised the study, PR programme and data collection; ARK was the principal investigator for Germany. MS, TB, SH, PK-B, A-MP, SS, RG, IJ, TS, DL and ARK contributed to the study concept and design, as well as in the data collection. MS and SH wrote the first draft of the manuscript, which was critically reviewed by RG, PK-B, SS, ARK, WW, IJ, and TS. BU contributed for the statistical analysis. All authors participated in various steps in the study, edited the manuscript and gave their approval for submission. MS is the guarantor of the article.
Funding The clinical study was sponsored by Kaia Health software GmbH.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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