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1.  Chronic disease self-management and exercise in COPD as pulmonary rehabilitation: a randomized controlled trial 
Both exercise and self-management are advocated in pulmonary rehabilitation for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The widely used 6-week, group-based Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) increases self-reported exercise, despite supervised exercise not being a program component. This has been little explored in COPD. Whether adding supervised exercise to the CDSMP would add benefit is unknown. We investigated the CDSMP in COPD, with and without a formal supervised exercise component, to address this question.
Patients and methods
Adult outpatients with COPD were randomized to the CDSMP with or without one hour of weekly supervised exercise over 6 weeks. The primary outcome measure was 6-minute walk test distance (6MWD). Secondary outcomes included self-reported exercise, exercise stage of change, exercise self-efficacy, breathlessness, quality of life, and self-management behaviors. Within- and between-group differences were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis.
Of 84 subjects recruited, 15 withdrew. 6MWD increased similarly in both groups: CDSMP-plus-exercise (intervention group) by 18.6±46.2 m; CDSMP-alone (control group) by 20.0±46.2 m. There was no significant difference for any secondary outcome.
The CDSMP produced à small statistically significant increase in 6MWD. The addition of a single supervised exercise session did not further increase exercise capacity. Our findings confirm the efficacy of a behaviorally based intervention in COPD, but this would seem to be less than expected from conventional exercise-based pulmonary rehabilitation, raising the question of how, if at all, the small gains observed in this study may be augmented.
PMCID: PMC4037329  PMID: 24876771
supervised exercise; physical capacity; 6-minute walk distance
2.  Effects of telephone health mentoring in community-recruited chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on self-management capacity, quality of life and psychological morbidity: a randomised controlled trial 
BMJ Open  2013;3(9):e003097.
To assess benefits of telephone-delivered health mentoring in community-based chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Cluster randomised controlled trial.
Tasmanian general practices: capital city (11), large rural (3), medium rural (1) and small rural (16).
Patients were invited (1207) from general practitioner (GP) databases with COPD diagnosis and/or tiotropium prescription, response rate 49% (586), refused (176) and excluded (criteria: smoking history or previous study, 68). Spirometry testing (342) confirmed moderate or severe COPD in 182 (53%) patients.
By random numbers code, block stratified on location, allocation by sequentially numbered, opaque and sealed envelopes.
Health mentor (HM) group received regular calls to manage illness issues and health behaviours from trained community health nurses using negotiated goal setting: problem solving, decision-making and action planning. Control: usual care (UC) group received GP care plus non-interventional brief phone calls.
Measured at 0, 6 and 12 months, the Short Form 36 (SF-36) and St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ, primary); Partners In Health (PIH) Scale for self-management capacity, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) questionnaire, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist, Satisfaction with life and hospital admissions (secondary).
182 participants with COPD (age 68±8 years, 62% moderate COPD and 53% men) were randomised (HM=90 and UC=92). Mixed model regression analysis accounting for clustering, adjusting for age, gender, smoking status and airflow limitation assessed efficacy (regression coefficient, β, reported per 6-month visit). There was no difference in quality of life between groups, but self-management capacity increased in the HM group (PIH overall 0.15, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.29; knowledge domain 0.25, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.50). Anxiety decreased in both groups (HADS A 0.35; 95% CI −0.65 to −0.04) and coping capacity improved (PIH coping 0.15; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.26).
Health mentoring improved self-management capacity but not quality of life compared to regular phone contact, which itself had positive effects where decline is generally expected.
PMCID: PMC3773640  PMID: 24014482
Preventive Medicine; Primary Care
3.  Supporting health behaviour change in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with telephone health-mentoring: insights from a qualitative study 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:55.
Adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviours is pivotal to chronic disease self-management as this influences disease progression and impact. This qualitative study investigated health behaviour changes adopted by participants with moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) recruited to a randomised controlled study of telephone-delivered health-mentoring.
Community nurses trained as health-mentors used a patient-centred approach with COPD patients recruited in general practice to facilitate behaviour change, using a framework of health behaviours; ‘SNAPPS’ Smoking, Nutrition, Alcohol, Physical activity, Psychosocial well-being, and Symptom management, through regular phone calls over 12 months. Semi-structured interviews in a purposive sample sought feedback on mentoring and behaviour changes adopted. Interviews were analysed using iterative thematic and interpretative content approaches by two investigators.
Of 90 participants allocated to health-mentoring, 65 (72%) were invited for interview at 12-month follow up. The 44 interviewees, 75% with moderate COPD, had a median of 13 mentor contacts over 12 months, range 5–20. Interviewed participants (n = 44, 55% male, 43% current smokers, 75% moderate COPD) were representative of the total group with a mean age 65 years while 82% had at least one additional co-morbid chronic condition. Telephone delivery was highly acceptable and enabled good rapport. Participants rated ‘being listened to by a caring health professional’ as very valuable. Three participant groups were identified by attitude to health behaviour change: 14 (32%) actively making changes; 18 (41%) open to and making some changes and 12 (27%) more resistant to change. COPD severity or current smoking status was not related to group category. Mentoring increased awareness of COPD effects, helping develop and personalise behaviour change strategies, even by those not actively making changes. Physical activity was targeted by 43 (98%) participants and smoking by 14 (74%) current smokers with 21% reporting quitting. Motivation to maintain changes was increased by mentor support.
Telephone delivery of health-mentoring is feasible and acceptable to people with COPD in primary care. Health behaviours targeted by this population, mostly with moderate disease, were mainly physical activity and smoking reduction or cessation. Health-mentoring increased motivation and assisted people to develop strategies for making and sustaining beneficial change.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3411441  PMID: 22694996
Health-mentoring; Behaviour change; Primary care; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Physical activity; Smoking

Results 1-3 (3)