An implementation evaluation of a home-based exercise intervention for COPD patients

Although regular exercise training is effective to increase quality of life and reduce COPD symptoms (and over the long-term mortality), relatively few people with COPD participate in training programs. Others do not successfully integrate the prescribed exercises into daily life after pulmonary rehabilitation. Rising to this challenge, our interdisciplinary team developed the HOMEX training program specifically tailored to COPD patients. Two funded, currently running randomized controlled trials assess the “good science” component (effectiveness) of the intervention. This study facilitates the “good practice” component. Through an implementation evaluation, acceptability, appropriateness, accessibility, dose, fidelity and compliance are assessed among the participants, coach facilitators, and health care providers. The goals are to optimize the training program, systematically identify which the elements facilitate the introduction of the program to specific settings and to ensure its long-term sustainability.