Barriers and motivational factors towards physical activity in COPD - an interview based pilot study

Elisabeth Bomholt Østergaard, Sophia Sajitha Sritharan, Anne Dal Kristiansen, Pernille Maja Thomsen, Anders Løkke

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


In Denmark, few people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) engage in physical activity although it is evident that pulmonary rehabilitation has positive effects on physical activity, dyspnoea, anxiety, fatigue and quality of life.
The purpose of this pilot study was to explore why people with COPD do not engage in physical activity and to explore motivational factors and barriers towards physical activity. Furthermore, to explore the role general practitioners have in this matter.
We conducted fieldwork among five people with COPD and three general practitioners using qualitative semi-structured interviews. We made a thematic analysis and our analytical perspective was based on The Health Belief Model and Self Determination Theory.
Findings revealed that people with COPD was not active because they did not receive the necessary information from the general practitioners about the benefits of physical activity or the negative consequences of an inactive lifestyle. Motivational factors were knowledge about COPD and benefits of physical activity. Experiencing the benefits on their own bodies, feeling that it was not dangerous to feel breathless and being successful coping with breathlessness were motivational. General practitioners did not inform about the benefits of physical activity because they felt that medication was more important than physical activity and that people with COPD would not be motivated to be active.
Thus, it is important that people with COPD receive early information about physical activity - and it should start with the general practitioners, who are the gate keepers in the health care system.
ArtikelnummerVolume 5, 2018 - Issue 1
TidsskriftEuropean Clinical Respiratory Journal
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)1484654
StatusUdgivet - 2018


  • Sundhed, ernæring og livskvalitet
  • Barriers
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Enablers
  • Exercise
  • General Practitioners
  • Information
  • Motivation
  • Physical activity in daily life (PADL)
  • Physical and psychological benefits
  • Rehabilitation


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