CDTRP Research Innovation Grant awardee – Virtual home-based pre-habilitation program in lung transplant candidates (Tania Janaudis-Ferreira & Nicholas Bourgeois)

Through collaboration with partner organizations, CDTRP is pleased to offer our annual Research Innovation Grant competition to fund exciting new project ideas. Over the coming weeks, we will be profiling all of the projects funded in the 2021 competition.

Funded through a CDTRP Research Innovation Grant

Title: Virtual home-based pre-habilitation program in lung transplant candidates

  • Principal investigators: Tania Janaudis-Ferreira & Nicholas Bourgeois
  • Main affiliations: McGill University (Janaudis), CHUM (Bourgeois)
  • Part of Theme 5
Lay Abstract

Patients on the waiting list for lung transplantation experience symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue and have a decrease in their physical endurance, all of which can negatively impact their transplantation. Physical prehabilitation is recognized as a treatment that can help these patients optimize their physical condition and be better prepared for their surgery. The majority of pre-habilitation programs are offered in hospital, but home-based programs offer an alternative way to deliver it and are also more applicable during the current pandemic. The goal of this study is to evaluate the benefits of a virtual home-based pre-habilitation in patients waiting for lung transplantation. We are offering a 12-week intervention followed by a 3-month maintenance period. The 12-week intervention will consist of strengthening exercises (3x/week) with direct virtual supervision by a physiotherapist and cardiovascular exercises (5x/week) with indirect supervision. The exercise program will be individualized with patient feedback and the supervision will decrease over time to encourage autonomy. The maintenance phase will consist of weekly phone calls by a physiotherapist until the transplant to keep patients engaged. We will measure exercise capacity, leg strength, quality of life and general weakness before and after the intervention. We will also measure the adherence and acceptability of the intervention. We expect that our intervention will be beneficial for patients awaiting lung transplantation. The findings of this study will provide the groundwork for a larger trial investigating whether this intervention can improve physical function and quality of life of patients waiting for lung transplantation.