A Comparison of Physical Activity Between Home-Based and Centre-Based Pulmonary Rehabilitation: A Randomised Controlled Secondary Analysis

Elizabeth Horton, Justina Ruksenaite, Katy Mitchell, Louise Sewell, Christopher Newby, Sally J. Singh

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Background: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a highly effective intervention for individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Physical activity (PA) has been shown to increase after a centre-based programme, yet it is not clear if a home-based programme can offer the same benefit. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of home-based PR compared with the centre-based PR on the PA levels post 7 weeks of PR and 6 months follow-up. Method: In this study, 51 participants with COPD, of them, 36 (71%) men completed physical activity monitoring with a SenseWear Armband, at three time points (baseline, 7 weeks, and 6 months). The participants were randomly assigned to either centre-based supervised PR (n = 25; 69 ± 6 years; FEV1 55 ± 20% predicted) or home-based PR (n = 26; 68 ± 7 years; FEV1 42 ± 19% predicted) programmes lasting 7 weeks. The home-based programme includes one hospital visit, a self-management manual, and two telephone calls. The PA was measured as step count, time in moderate PA (3–6 metabolic equivalent of tasks [METs]) in bouts of more than 10 min and sedentary time (<2 METs). Results: Home-based PR increased step count significantly more than the centre-based PR after 7 weeks (mean difference 1,463 steps: 95% CI 280–2,645, p = 0.02). There was no difference in time spent in moderate PA was observed (mean difference 62 min: 95% CI −56 to 248, p = 0.24). Sedentary behaviour was also significantly different between the centre and home-based groups. The home group spent 52 min less time sedentary compared with the centre-based (CI −106 to 2, p = 0.039). However, after 6 months, the step count and time spent in moderate PA returned to baseline in both the groups. Conclusion: This study provides an important insight into the role of home-based PR which has the potential to be offered as an alternative to the centre-based PR. Understanding who may best respond from the centre or home-based PR warrants further exploration and how to maintain these initial benefits for the long-term. Trial Registry: ISRCTN: No.: ISRCTN81189044; URL: isrctn.com.
Original languageEnglish
Article number743441
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • Rehabilitation Sciences
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • pulmonary rehabilitation
  • sedentary time
  • step count


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