Community and COPD

Community-based Exercise Programs

Community-based Exercise Programs for COPD

There has been a shift in the healthcare system with treatments moving from hospital to community, especially for long-term maintenance after rehabilitation. We know that hospital-based pulmonary rehabilitation programs are effective but that continuing to exercise independently after rehab is difficult. Community exercise programs have been shown to be effective for people with osteoarthritis but the effects in people with other chronic conditions (including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD) were unknown.

We explored the barriers and facilitators to participating in community exercise groups and found that the cost, travel time, access to transportation, weather, physical symptoms and exacerbations were barriers but that participants felt that there were more benefits than barriers, such as improved function and quality of life. In addition, having access to a case manager, a supported transition to the community program and a condition-specific program were the main facilitators.  

Take home message: Providing community-based exercise programs with appropriate facilities and a motivating program leader is important to help people maintain their exercise programs after pulmonary rehabilitation. A structured, group-based program tailored to participants’ functional abilities may help people stay accountable and maintain their exercise routine. 


Review of Community-based Programs 
Participant Experiences of a Community-based Maintenance Program 
Barriers to Physical Activity after Pulmonary Rehabilitation 
Integrated Community Exercise