Research addressing methods to sustain long-term adherence to physical activity among older adults is needed. This study investigated the motivations and supports deemed necessary to adhere to a community-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR) program by individuals with established coronary heart disease.
Twenty-four long-term adherers (15 men, 9 women; age 67.7 ± 16.7 yr) took part in focus-group discussions.
Constant comparative analysis supported previous research in terms of the importance of referral procedures, social support, and knowledge of health benefits in influencing uptake and adherence to CBCR. Results also highlighted the routine of a structured class and task-, barrier-, and recovery-specific self-efficacy as necessary to sustain long-term adherence for this specific clinical group.
Older adults themselves provide rich information on how to successfully support their long-term adherence to structured exercise sessions. Further research into how to build these components into any exercise program is necessary.
The authors are with the School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.