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Community-based exercise training for people with chronic respiratory and chronic cardiac disease: a mixed-methods evaluation

Community-based exercise training for people with chronic respiratory and chronic cardiac disease: a mixed-methods evaluation

International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 11: 2839-2850

ISSN/ISBN: 1176-9106

PMID: 27895476

DOI: 10.2147/copd.s118724

Poor uptake and adherence are problematic for hospital-based pulmonary and heart failure rehabilitation programs, often because of access difficulties. The aims of this mixed-methods study were to determine the feasibility of a supervised exercise training program in a community gymnasium in people with chronic respiratory and chronic cardiac disease, to explore the experiences of participants and physiotherapists and to determine if a community venue improved access and adherence to rehabilitation. Adults with chronic respiratory and/or chronic cardiac disease referred to a hospital-based pulmonary and heart failure rehabilitation program were screened to determine their suitability to exercise in a community venue. Eligible patients were offered the opportunity to attend supervised exercise training for 8 weeks in a community gymnasium. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants and physiotherapists at the completion of the program. Thirty-one people with chronic respiratory and chronic cardiac disease (34% males, mean [standard deviation] age 72 [10] years) commenced the community-based exercise training program. Twenty-two (71%) completed the program. All participants who completed the program, and the physiotherapists delivering the program, were highly satisfied, with reports of the community venue being well-equipped, convenient, and easily accessible. Using a community gymnasium promoted a sense of normality and instilled confidence in some to continue exercising at a similar venue post rehabilitation. However, factors such as cost and lack of motivation continue to be barriers. The convenience and accessibility of a community venue for rehabilitation contributed to high levels of satisfaction and a positive experience for people with chronic respiratory and chronic cardiac disease and physiotherapists.

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