|Title:||Survey of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients who participated in online group exercise classes to facilitate physical activity during Covid-19 pandemic.|
|Author(s):||Gordon Cagney; Niamh Julian; Paula Ryan; Aiden O’Brien; Brian Casserly; Gemma O’Dowd; Nicola Cassidy; Danny Sheahan.|
|Institution:||University Hospital Limerick, Irish Lung Fibrosis Association, Invisio Ltd.|
|Poster:||Click to view poster|
|Abstract:||During the COVID-19 pandemic respiratory patients were cocooning at home with limited access to group exercise classes. In particular, IPF patients are fearful of undertaking exercise independently. To prevent deconditioning of this cohort, virtually run exercise classes were organised as part of a collaboration between UHL and ILFA.|
The physiotherapist-led weekly exercise classes commenced in May 2020. Participants were invited to complete an online survey in May 2021 to assess the impact of the virtual classes and attitudes towards physical activity.
53 participants responded to the survey, 83% were aged 61+. All respondents were diagnosed with IPF, 6% being post-transplant recipients and 36% using oxygen all the time or most of the time. Only 11% of the respondents were on a public waiting list for either face-to-face or virtual pulmonary rehabilitation. A rating of ‘excellent’ was awarded by 73% of respondents for help in overcoming any anxiety about exercising online. Of the respondents, 64% reported being more active and 68% reported being less fearful about doing exercise since starting the online classes. See Table1.
Overall online exercise classes have provided substantial physical and emotional benefits to IPF patients. The survey highlights the lack of pulmonary rehab availability to IPF patients.