Development of a physical activity counseling intervention for people with chronic respiratory disease based on the health action process approach

Rachel S. Tappan*, Jennifer R. Ettinger, Delaney Mahon, Sarah E. Mroz, Walter Hall, Estelle Maajid, Chelsea Stratton, Denise Trotter Zynda, David E. Conroy, Margaret Danilovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Physical activity (PA) counseling holds promise for increasing PA levels in people with chronic respiratory disease, though little long-term change has been shown to date. Here, we describe the development of a Health Action Process Approach-based PA counseling intervention that aims to promote PA and exercise in people with chronic respiratory disease who are enrolled in pulmonary rehabilitation. Methods: To collaborate in defining and refining the intervention, we convened a varied team of authors that included a panel of five stakeholder partners: three patients, one clinician, and one health behavior change researcher. We completed three steps in the intervention development process: (1) initial intervention creation, (2) iterative intervention refinement, and (3) assessment of intervention acceptability. In step 1, we created an initial draft of the PA counseling intervention based on the HAPA theoretical framework, previous evidence in people with chronic respiratory disease, and clinical experience. In step 2, we used qualitative methods of focus groups and interviews to further develop and refine the intervention. Fifteen meetings occurred with the five-member stakeholder partner panel (six focus groups with the three patient partners, four interviews with the clinician partner, and five interviews with the researcher partner) over 5 months to systematically elicit input and incorporate it into the intervention. In step 3, we measured the intervention acceptability using five-point Likert scale ratings. Results: Intervention materials included the eligibility screen, participant workbook, and leader guide. We identified key themes in the input from the stakeholder partners and incorporated this input into the intervention content and methods. Ratings of the intervention by the stakeholder partners (n=5) were high with mean ratings ranging 4.0–5.0 on a five-point scale. Conclusions: This development process successfully engaged an intervention development team with diverse perspectives and resulted in a PA counseling intervention for people with chronic respiratory disease. The intervention’s strong theoretical underpinning, person-centeredness, and the contributions from varied perspectives during intervention development position it well for future evaluations of feasibility, efficacy, and effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number173
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Behavior modification
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Counseling
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a physical activity counseling intervention for people with chronic respiratory disease based on the health action process approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this