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  1. Bohplian, Suweena MS, RN
  2. Bronas, Ulf G. PhD, ATC, FSVM, FAHA


Introduction: Low participation and adherence to cardiac rehabilitation (CR) leads to ineffective care and increased risk of cardiac complications. There is a need to identify effective motivational strategies and concepts to increase participation and adherence to CR.


Purpose: The aim of this review was to synthesize and integrate the current knowledge about motivational strategies and concepts to increase participation and adherence to CR.


Methods: A literature search was performed using five electronic databases: CINAHL, Medline via PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine Source. The search was limited to peer-reviewed studies, written in English, and publications from 2010 to 2019. A matrix and narrative synthesis were employed to organize and synthesize the findings, respectively.


Results: Eight of 522 articles met the inclusion criteria. Four articles used motivational interviewing (MotI) and counseling strategy, three articles investigated the autonomy, competence, and relatedness of self-determination theory (SDT) concepts, and one article used a reinforced motivational strategy. Use of MotI led to improving the CR completion rate from 14% to 39%. The number of sessions attended/patient improved from 12 to 20 when the staff was provided attendance feedback and a reward. Autonomy, competence, and relatedness motivated patients to participate in and adhere to CR.


Conclusions: Motivational interviewing and counseling, motivational and reinforcement strategies, and the autonomy, competence, and relatedness of SDT concepts should be utilized to promote participation and motivation for CR. The effects of these techniques on long-term CR require further research, including combining the identified methods to investigate the efficacy of these techniques on CR adherence.