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Cardiac patients, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise adherence, heart failure, patient compliance



  1. Nielsen, Jessica DNP, APRN-NP


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of patient-selected exercise adherence strategies following cardiac rehabilitation (CR).


Design: Twenty patients with heart failure (HF) were recruited and randomly assigned to the intervention or control group at completion of CR.


Methods: The intervention included the use of six adherence strategies (logs, graphs, pedometers, phone follow-up, education, and a letter from CR staff), which were provided for 6 weeks post CR and during home-based exercise. After 6 weeks, the intervention group selected strategies to continue, and only those were provided for the last 6 weeks. At 12 weeks, patients were retested.


Findings: Patients with HF demonstrated improvement in distance walked and less HF symptoms and adhered to exercise at levels recommended during CR.


Conclusion: Inclusion of patient-selected adherence strategies supports continued exercise and helps to sustain physiological improvements.


Clinical Relevance: Results from this study have implications for CR programs serving HF patients and provide insight into adherence strategies.