The acceptability, practicality, implementation and efficacy of a physical and social activity intervention 'BreatheHappy' for people with long-term respiratory conditions: A feasibility study

Author: A Lewis1,2, L A Turner3, S Fryer3, R Smith4, H Dillarstone5, Y W Patrick6, E Bevan-Smith6
1 Department of Health Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK.
2 School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
3 School of Education and Science, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK.
4 Department of Geography, University College London, London, UK.
5 Institute for Global Health, University College London, London, UK.
6 Department of Health and Social Care, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK.
Conference/Journal: Chron Respir Dis
Date published: 2024 Jan-Dec
Other: Volume ID: 21 , Pages: 14799731241238435 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/14799731241238435. , Word Count: 374

This study aimed to determine the feasibility of a group-based pilot programme of low-to-moderate physical activity training, education and social activities, by investigating acceptability, practicality, implementation and efficacy testing. We offer suggestions on programme adaptions for future study.

People with a range of chronic respiratory diseases were invited to participate in a pilot 12 week group activity programme. Activities included outdoor walking, tai-chi, education and a range of social activities. Acceptability was determined by participant experiences determined during interviews. Practicality was determined by programme and outcome measure completion, cost and adverse events. Implementation was determined according to whether the programme ran as planned. Efficacy was determined by statistical analyses of outcomes including hand grip strength, timed up and go test, COPD Helplessness Index, COPD Assessment Test, and measures of physical activity via accelerometry.

Thematic analysis indicated that the "BreatheHappy" programme was acceptable. Seven of nine participants completed eight out of 10 sessions and the majority completed all outcome measures. "BreatheHappy" was therefore considered practical. The programme was not implemented as planned, with only 10 sessions running rather than the 12 intended. There was a significant increase in daily step counts (MD: 1284 95% CI: 240-2329 p: 0.024 effect size: 0.988), stepping time (MD: 16 min 95% CI: 5-27 min p: 0.011 effect size: 1.36) and daily minutes completing light physical activity (MD: 23 95% CI: 6-38 p: 0.006 effect size: 1.6). However, time spent sitting for ≥30 min but ≤60 min significantly increased (MD: 26 95% CI: 0.2-52 min p: 0.049 effect size: 0.931), showing signs of efficacy and changing physical activity behaviour patterns.

A 10-week programme of low-moderate physical activity training, education and social activities shows signs of feasibility for future research. Suggested adaptions for future study include using physical activity measures such as daily step count or light physical activity for a primary outcome, and mental health and social health related outcome measures relatable to participant's beneficial experiences of the programme. Recruitment in future studies will try and reach both those less socially active and possibly those who have completed pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). Venues should be close to efficient transport links whilst different frequencies and durations of programme delivery should be trialled. Adequate funding should be provided for both staff running the programme and blinded research staff for outcome measurement.

Keywords: Pulmonary rehabilitation; physical activity; qualitative; sedentary behaviour.

PMID: 38553857 DOI: 10.1177/14799731241238435