Little, Anne and Lewis, Kiara (2006) Influences on long-term exercise adherence in older patients with cardiac disease. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 13 (12). pp. 543-549. ISSN 1741-1645

Using a qualitative approach, this study explored attitudes, social support and barriers influencing long-term exercise adherence among five older patients with cardiac disease.
Results found that patients understood and valued the benefits of health-related exercise, thereby demonstrating positive exercise attitudes. Some patients, however, were unsure of the recommended guidelines for producing exercise benefits. Introducing into exercise rehabilitation programmes strategies to assess knowledge of exercise guidelines may prove useful in confirming patients’ understanding of these guidelines. Future research into the effectiveness of such strategies is recommended.
Support from family, friends, and health professionals was found to be important in long-term exercise adherence. Some patients, however, were unhappy with the nature of support provided. While doctors encouraged patients to exercise, not all prescribed exercise because they knew little about the referral schemes available. This suggests the need to evaluate service provision to ensure that doctors are informed and active in prescribing exercise.
Barriers, such as poor health and lower body limitations, did not prevent exercise per se, however, they did prevent patients exercising at levels recommended to protect against disease progression.

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