Self-efficacy enhancing intervention increases light physical activity in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Janet L. Larson, Margaret K. Covey, Mary C. Kapella, Charles G. Alex, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, subjects were assigned to: exercise-specific self-efficacy enhancing intervention with upper body resistance training (SE-UBR), health education with upper body resistance training (ED-UBR), or health education with gentle chair exercises (ED-Chair). Physical activity was measured with an accelerometer and functional performance was measured with the Functional Performance Inventory. Forty-nine people with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease completed 4 months of training and provided valid accelerometry data, and 34 also provided accelerometry data at 12 months of follow-up. The self-efficacy enhancing intervention emphasized meeting physical activity guidelines and increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Results: Differences were observed in light physical activity (LPA) after 4 months of training, time by group interaction effect (P=0.045). The SE-UBR group increased time spent in LPA by +20.68±29.30 minutes/day and the other groups decreased time spent in LPA by -22.43±47.88 minutes/day and -25.73±51.76 minutes/day. Changes in LPA were not sustained at 12-month follow-up. There were no significant changes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, sedentary time, or functional performance. Subjects spent most of their waking hours sedentary: 72%±9% for SE-UBR, 68%±10% for ED-UBR, and 74%±9% for ED-Chair.

Conclusion: The self-efficacy enhancing intervention produced a modest short-term increase in LPA. Further work is needed to increase the magnitude and duration of effect, possibly by targeting LPA.

Background: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease lead sedentary lives and could benefit from increasing their physical activity. The purpose of this study was to determine if an exercise-specific self-efficacy enhancing intervention could increase physical activity and functional performance when delivered in the context of 4 months of upper body resistance training with a 12-month follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1090
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of COPD
StatePublished - Oct 3 2014


  • Behavioral intervention
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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