High Intensity Interval Training in Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease (HIIT in fILD)

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Monash University
Updated on 15 February 2022


The fibrotic interstitial lung diseases (fILD) is a group of debilitating chronic lung conditions that are characterised by scarring of lung tissue, dyspnoea on exertion and significant physical impairment. Exercise training is recommended for people with fILD in improving breathlessness and exercise tolerance. However, despite the best efforts of patients and clinicians, many of those who participate are not attaining its benefits. The current exercise training strategies of moderate intensity continuous training may not be well suited to fILD. High intensity interval training (HIIT), short bouts of high-intensity exercise regularly interspersed with periods of rest or light exercise may be an alternate exercise training option for people with fILD.

The study will determine to whether HIIT is better than the current method of continuous exercise training at moderate intensity in improving exercise tolerance, breathlessness and quality of life in people with fILD. A randomised controlled, assessor blinded trial will be conducted. A total 130 people with fILD will be randomly assigned to moderate intensity continuous training or HIIT. If this trial demonstrates that HIIT is effective, it will provide an exercise training strategy that can readily be implemented in practice that will maximise the outcomes of exercise training for people with fILD.


Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a chronic lung condition characterized by scarring of lung tissue. This stiffening of the lungs impairs breathing and reduces the amount of oxygen being delivered throughout the body limiting the ability to perform daily and physical activity. Around two-thirds of people with ILD have fibrotic ILD (fILD), a type of ILD, which typically has worse impairment and disability than other types of ILD. There is no cure for these conditions, although there are two new pharmacological therapies that slow the decline in lung function in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), the most common type of fILD. These treatments however do not provide improvement in breathlessness, exercise capacity or health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Exercise training, or Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR), has shown to be effective at improving exercise tolerance and HRQoL in ILD. The investigators recently demonstrated that, at a group level, exercise training exerts a positive effect across varying subtypes of ILD, including IPF, the most rapidly progressive of all the fILDs. However less than half of those with IPF who undertook the exercise training achieved meaningful improvements in exercise capacity. In addition, a large proportion of people with IPF were unable to keep up with the recommended exercise training level, often due to excessive dyspnoea or desaturation. This suggests the current exercise training strategies used in PR, which were adopted from guidelines for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may not provide the optimal exercise stimuli for fILD. High intensity interval training (HIIT), which is short bouts of high intensity exercise regularly interspersed with periods of rest or light exercise, may be an alternate exercise training option for people with fILD. However, it is unknown whether this kind of exercise training achieves superior benefits to the traditional model of PR.

The aim of this project is to determine whether HIIT is better than the current method of continuous exercise training at moderate intensity, in improving exercise capacity, breathlessness and HRQoL in people with fILD. A total 130 people with fILD will be recruited. The trial will be conducted at four hospital sites across Australia. People who agree to take part in the study will be randomly allocated into two groups. Group 1 will undergo the traditional PR model of moderate intensity continuous exercise training and group 2 will undergo HIIT. Participants in both groups will participate in exercise training twice weekly for eight weeks. The participants will be monitored continuously during exercise by an experienced physiotherapist or exercise physiologist. At the beginning and the end of the eight weeks of exercise training, and six months later, participants will undergo measurements of exercise capacity and health status. This study will determine whether HIIT is effective, providing an important exercise training strategy that can be readily used for people with fILD to achieve positive benefits from PR.

Condition Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Disease
Treatment High intensity interval training, Traditional pulmonary rehabilitation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03800914
SponsorMonash University
Last Modified on15 February 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Diagnosis of fibrotic interstitial lung disease (fILD)
Able to read and speak English

Exclusion Criteria

Resting oxygen saturation (SpO2) is < 85%
Severe pulmonary hypertension (WHO class IV)
Attendance at Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) within last 12 months
Comorbidities which preclude exercise training
History of syncope on exertion
Significant cognitive impairment
Anticipated transplant or death within the duration of the study period
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note