Introduction: As the physical activity of respiratory patients is the strongest predictor of their mortality, the maintenance is an important aim of a sustainable disease management. Therefore, it is necessary to change the patients' activity behavior.
Aims and objectives: The objective of the study is to examine the effect of a behavior-orientated exercise intervention during an inpatient rehabilitation to maintain the physical activity in the long term.
Methods: In a randomized controlled study, data were collected from 121 patients (Age: M=69,3 years; FEV1=2,18l) with occupational lung diseases at the beginning (T1), to the end (T2), as well as two (T3), six (T4) and twelve (T5) month after an inpatient rehabilitation in a german clinic for occupational diseases in Falkenstein. The physical activity level was measured with the help of a standardized questionnaire. Compared to the control group, the intervention group (IG) received a behavior-orientated exercise intervention additionally to the standardized therapies during the rehabilitation.
Results: The overall physical activity does not differ between both groups at T1 (p>0,05). Multivariate analyses revealed significant increases (p<0,05, eta2=0,25) of the physical activity level two, six and twelve month after the rehabilitation in both groups but with higher improvements in the IG. There are only significant increases in leisure time-activity in the IG with an improvement of 1,3 hours per week (p<0,05).
Conclusions: The rehabilitation and the additional intervention improve the physical activity level of patients with occupational lung diseases. Because of the higher activity in the IG, the intervention seems to be successful.