Advanced Telerehabilitation for stable COPD

Many people with COPD undertake their exercise programs at home. Researchers have been examining the effects of supplementing home exercise programs with more advanced technological methods of supervision. Such methods can include real-time videoconferencing with the physiotherapist during each exercise session, or real-time relay of data from the patient and their exercise equipment (eg, treadmill speed, heart rate) to the physiotherapist at the hospital. 

A group of physiotherapists from France and Australia led by Tristan Bonnevie, including Pauline Smondack, Mark Elkins, APAM, Benoit Gouel, Clement Medrinal, Yann Combret, Jean-Francois Muir, Antoine Cuvelier, Guillaume Prieur and Francis-Edouard Gravier, have reviewed the evidence for these advanced telehealth technologies, and the results include some important findings.

Advanced telehealth technology improved the effects of home-based exercise therapy on incremental exercise capacity. It also increased the amount of physical activity that the patients incorporated into their daily routine. Furthermore, it reduced the risk of readmission to hospital. These benefits may arise from the fact that patients feel more confident to push themselves harder (and therefore benefit more) during each exercise session. The effects on breathlessness and quality of life were either as good as or better than the effects of the exercise program without the added technology.

The Physiotherapy Research Foundation (PRF) funded an animation video that has helped spread the key messages contained in the trial.

To read the full article published in the Journal of Physiotherapy click here


Tristan Bonnevie is a physiotherapist with 10 years of experience in respiratory physiotherapy. He has a PhD at Rouen University, France.
Pauline Smondack is a physiotherapist at Rouen University, France. She has experience in pulmonary rehabilitation and physiotherapy following thoracic surgery.
Mark Elkins is an associate professor of physiotherapy at University of Sydney, Australia.
Benoit Gouel is a physiotherapist student at the school of physiotherapy of Rouen, involved in pulmonary rehabilitation.
Clement Medrinal is a physiotherapist at Le Havre Hospital, France, with a 10 years experienced in early rehabilitation in the ICU as well as in pulmonary rehabilitation, and lecturer for the physiotherapy school of St Michel, France.
Yann Combret is a physiotherapist at Le Havre Hospital, France. He has a PhD and is experienced in pulmonary rehabilitation.
Jean-Francois Muir is a professor of respiratory medicine in Rouen University Hospital, France.
Antoine Cuvelier is a professor of respiratory medicine in Rouen University Hospital, France.
Guillaume Prieur is a physiotherapist at le Havre Hospital, France, experienced in pulmonary rehabilitation. He is currently a PhD candidate.
Francis-Edouard Gravier is a physiotherapist with 10 years’ experience in respiratory physiotherapy in France. He is currently a PhD candidate.