Table 3

Selected qualitative responses to questions pertaining to exercise testing within the trial evaluation

QuestionDirect participant quotes
‘The exercise test was too physically challenging for someone with my lung condition’
  • I was fine – it depends what level you’re at

  • “I think I could do more than I did from the lung point of view – my legs gave out first”

  • “It helps me to know how I feel”

  • “The whole purpose of this exercise is for people who have a weakness in their body system”

‘Based on my experience in this trial, I think cardiopulmonary exercise testing is feasible for lung disease patients’
  • “I think there are certain people who wouldn’t be able to manage it, although carers can hold patients back with their views about what the patient can do”

  • “Oh yeah, and I think it’s an interesting thing to watch - to know what’s happening to your heart. Sometimes I’ve been thinking is it my heart or is it my lungs when I’ve been feeling really poorly”

  • I think it is essential and it should become compulsory”

‘The idea of using exercise testing to develop individualised exercise programmes for patients does not appeal to me’
  • “I may not want to adhere to an exercise programme”

  • “It gives me confidence. I’ve leapt at the chance to do the pulmonary rehab here! (The physical therapist) here described it and it sounded exactly what I need to get my confidence back to do stuff - they said it’s OK to get out of breath, whereas you think you can’t because it’s the PF (pulmonary fibrosis). How you exercise safely is a paradox for me. It’s feeling that you’re not allowed to with PF”

  • “Apart from playing bowls and gardening; I’m not likely to start playing football again!”

  • “I know it’s good for you, but you have to motivate yourself to do it”

  • “It could provide an immediate answer without the punishment of going through medicines”