‘The illness isn’t the end of the road’—Patient perspectives on the initiation of and early participation in a multi-disease, community-based exercise programme

REGAN-MORIARTY, Joanne, HARDCASTLE, Sarah, MCCALLION, Maire, YOUELL, Azura, COLLERY, Audrey, MCCARREN, Andrew, MOYNA, Niall and KEHOE, Brona (2024). ‘The illness isn’t the end of the road’—Patient perspectives on the initiation of and early participation in a multi-disease, community-based exercise programme. PLOS ONE, 19 (3).

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Official URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.13...
Open Access URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0291700


Background: Exercise is the cornerstone of cardiac rehabilitation (CR). Hospital-based CR exercise programmes are a routine part of clinical care and are typically 6–12 weeks in duration. Following completion, physical activity levels of patients decline. Multi-disease, community-based exercise programmes (MCEP) are an efficient model that could play an important role in the long-term maintenance of positive health behaviours in individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD) following their medically supervised programme. Aim: To explore patients experiences of the initiation and early participation in a MCEP programme and the dimensions that facilitate and hinder physical activity engagement. Methods: Individuals with established CVD who had completed hospital-based CR were referred to a MCEP. The programme consisted of twice weekly group exercise classes supervised by clinical exercise professionals. Those that completed (n = 31) an initial 10 weeks of the programme were invited to attend a focus group to discuss their experience. Focus groups were transcribed and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Results: Twenty-four (63% male, 65.5±6.12yrs) patients attended one of four focus groups. The main themes identified were ‘Moving from fear to confidence’, ‘Drivers of engagement,’ and ‘Challenges to keeping it (exercise) up’. Conclusion: Participation in a MCEP by individuals with CVD could be viewed as a double-edged sword. Whilst the programme clearly provided an important transition from the clinical to the community setting, there were signs it may breed dependency and not effectively promote independent exercise. Another novel finding was the use of social comparison that provided favourable valuations of performance and increased exercise confidence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PLOS via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ ** Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge all study participants for their time and contribution and all research moderators who conducted the focus groups. The MCEP was based on the MedEx/ExWell Medical programme and thank Noel McCaffery and his team for supporting this project and the clinical exercise instructors in delivering the MCEP. **Journal IDs: eissn 1932-6203 **Article IDs: publisher-id: pone-d-23-24657 **History: published_online 29-03-2024; accepted 14-02-2024; collection 2024; submitted 04-09-2023
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0291700
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2024 16:09
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 16:15
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33502

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