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16 september 2019 20:00:44

346 How Do we Increase Adherence to Home Exercise Programmes? Interviews with Older Adults and Physiotherapists (Age and Ageing)

AbstractBackgroundRegular exercise and physical activity can maintain function and cardiovascular health, and prevent cognitive decline, in older adults. However, studies show that there is often poor adherence to home exercise programmes (HEP). The purpose of this study was to explore how HEP are perceived by both older adults and physiotherapists.MethodsA convenience sample of 28 older adults attending outpatient physiotherapy clinics were given an exercise journal to record their adherence to the HEP prescribed by their physiotherapists for six weeks. Subsequently, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample, and the corresponding prescribing physiotherapists, to achieve maximal variation in terms of HEP adherence, age and sex. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and simple content analysis performed.ResultsFourteen participants returned their exercise journal. Median age was 80; half were female; median Berg Balance Score and Timed-up-and-Go-Test were 49 and 16 seconds respectively. Participants exercised a median 79.8% of the prescribed dose, or 5.6 days per week. Seven older adults were interviewed; about half had a positive attitude towards exercise. They were also moderately positive about their HEP (comments ranged from `doable` and `nothing bad about it` to `enjoyable`). Barriers included time, mood, boredom, remembering to do the HEP, and variable health status. Enablers included simple instructions and design, family encouragement, and sense of achievement. Physiotherapists (n=5) perceived that many older adults aren`t compliant with HEPs, but there was some therapeutic nihilism (`you can`t force them`). Their HEP instructions varied from verbal to written instructions/diagrams; one physiotherapist used individualised video content. Notably, participants with good adherence understood their HEP well in terms of content and purpose, although this may be cause or effect.ConclusionTo improve compliance with HEP, healthcare professionals need to take time to motivate the recipient, simplify their instructions, and trouble-shoot potential barriers at the time of prescription.

29 viewsCategory: Geriatrics, Medicine, Pathology
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