“It’s really just been a learning experience”: Experiences of people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) using activity monitors

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease where symptoms include breathlessness and coughing. Physical activity can increase life expectancy, reduce hospital admission and improve quality of life. Previous research on activity monitors (i.e., apps or wearables) has focussed on monitoring physical activity. Understanding the experiences of people with COPD using monitoring technology in everyday life could support the development and delivery of effective interventions to increase activity levels.
    Aim: To explore the experiences of people with COPD using activity monitors in everyday life.
    Methods: Seven face-to-face or telephone interviews were conducted with people with COPD between August 2018 and June 2020. Participants all used and app and/or wearable (i.e., Fitbit, Garmin or Apple Watch) to monitor their activity (e.g., steps, distance, heartrate). Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
    Findings: Four themes were developed using IPA to demonstrate the positive and negative journey of engagement with activity monitors over time: 1) Motivational features to keep monitoring physical activity, 2) The importance of setting achievable goals to manage expectations of activity, 3) Development of knowledge and awareness of activity levels, and 4) Life with the tracker from ‘before’ to ‘now’.
    Discussion: Understanding the experiences of people with COPD using activity monitors is invaluable for developing interventions to support patients. Monitoring technology has the potential to widely benefit people with COPD with their physical activity and self-management of their health condition. However, further research is needed to understand how healthcare practitioners can support and encourage people with COPD to engage with technology. Understanding how to incorporate technology and utilise activity data collected at home could enable more effective remote delivery of interventions, healthcare and treatment.
    Period9 Jun 2022
    Event titleMidlands Health Psychology Network 17th Annual Conference: Current Health Psychology Priorities
    Event typeConference
    Conference number17