After a randomized controlled trial showing that improvement on some aspects of cognitive function was related to adherence to an exercise program, determinants of adherence and maintenance were further studied. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment were contacted 6 mo after the end of exercise programs for a telephone interview addressing patterns of adherence and determinants of maintenance. Mean adherence during the trial was 53%. About one third of participants had lapses during the trial but completed, one third had no lapses, and one third dropped out or never started. Practical barriers (time, location) were related to not starting and functional limitations to dropout. After the trial 25% of participants continued the programs, 14% reported intention to continue, and 61% quit. Maintenance was determined by fewer health complaints, higher satisfaction with the programs, and better adherence during the programs. Although maintenance was low, this study identified several reasons and barriers to adherence and maintenance that could be addressed.
Tak is with the Dept. of Health Promotion, TNO Quality of Life, Leiden, The Netherlands. van Uffelen is with the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Chin A Paw and van Mechelen are with the Dept. of Public and Occupational Health/EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research (EMGO+), VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Hopman-Rock is with Body@Work, Research Center Physical Activity, Work and Health, TNO-VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.