Adherence to a Long-Term Physical Activity and Exercise Program After Stroke Applied in a Randomized Controlled Trial.

  • Gunnes+et+al.+JPT2018.pdf (741k)


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Physical Therapy;Volume 99, Issue 1 - January 2019


Oxford University Press

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Background: Persistent physical activity is important to maintain motor function across all stages after stroke. Objective: The objective was to investigate adherence to an 18-month physical activity and exercise program. Design: The design was a prospective, longitudinal study including participants with stroke randomly allocated to the intervention-arm of a randomized controlled trial. Methods: The intervention consisted of individualized monthly coaching by a physical therapist who motivated participants to adhere to 30 minutes of daily physical activity and 45 minutes of weekly exercise over 18 months. The primary outcome was the combination of participants’ self-reported training diaries and adherence as reported by the physical therapists. Mixed-effect models were used to analyze change in adherence over time. Intensity levels, measured by the Borg scale, were a secondary outcome. Results: In total, 186 informed, consenting participants with mild-to-moderate stroke were included 3 months after stroke onset. Mean age was 71.7 years (SD = 11.9). Thirty-four (18.3%) participants withdrew and 9 (4.8%) died during follow-up. Adherence to physical activity and exercise each month ranged from 51.2% to 73.1% and from 63.5% to 79.7%, respectively. Over time, adherence to physical activity increased by 2.6% per month (OR=1.026, 95% CI 1.014–1.037). Further, most of the exercise was performed at moderate-to-high intensity levels, ranging from a score of 12 to 16 on the Borg scale with an increase of 0.018 points each month (95% CI 0.011-0.024). Limitations: Limitations included missing information about adherence for participants with missing data and reasons for dropout. Conclusions: Participants with mild and moderate impairments after stroke who received individualized regular coaching established and maintained moderate to good adherence to daily physical activity and weekly exercise over time.




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