Effect of a new tele-rehabilitation program versus standard rehabilitation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Jose Cerdán-De-las-heras*, Fernanda Balbino, Anders Løkke, Daniel Catalán-Matamoros, Ole Hilberg, Elisabeth Bendstrup


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In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), rehabilitation is recommended, but attendance rates are low. Tele-rehabilitation may be key. We evaluate the effect of a tele-rehabilitation program vs. standard rehabilitation on COPD. A randomized, non-inferiority study comparing eight weeks of tele-rehabilitation (physiotherapist video/chat-consultations and workout sessions with a virtual-autonomous-physiotherapist-agent (VAPA)) and standard rehabilitation in stable patients with COPD. At baseline, after 8 weeks and 3 and 6 months of follow-up, 6 min walk test distance (6MWTD), 7-day pedometry, quality of life, exercise tolerance, adherence, patient satisfaction and safety were assessed. Fifty-four patients (70 ± 9 years, male 57%, FEV1% 34.53 ± 11.67, FVC% 68.8 ± 18.81, 6MWT 376.23 ± 92.02) were included. Twenty-seven patients were randomized to tele-rehabilitation. Non-inferiority in ∆6MWTD at 8 weeks (47.4 ± 31.4), and at 3 (56.0 ± 38.0) and 6 (95.2 ± 47.1) months follow-up, was observed. No significant difference was observed in 7-day pedometry or quality of life. In the intervention group, 6MWTD increased by 25% and 66% at 3 and 6 months, respectively; adherence was 81%; and patient satisfaction was 4.27 ± 0.77 (Likert scale 0–5). Non-inferiority between groups and high adherence, patient satisfaction and safety in the intervention group were found after rehabilitation and at 3 and 6 months of follow-up. Tele-rehabilitation with VAPA seems to be a promising alternative.

TidsskriftJournal of Clinical Medicine
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: EUROSTARS grant number E10287 and Aarhus University grant number 18226975 were used to fund this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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