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

Authors McNamara RJ, McKeough ZJ, Mo LR, Dallimore JT, Dennis SM

Received 2 August 2016

Accepted for publication 26 September 2016

Published 16 November 2016 Volume 2016:11(1) Pages 2839—2850


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Renae J McNamara,1,2 Zoe J McKeough,3 Laura R Mo,3 Jamie T Dallimore,4 Sarah M Dennis3

1Physiotherapy Department, 2Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Department, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, 3Discipline of Physiotherapy, The University of Sydney, Lidcombe, 4Eastern Sydney Medicare Local, Rosebery, NSW, Australia

Background: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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.

Keywords: pulmonary rehabilitation, exercise, qualitative, COPD

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