Effects of an Exercise Adherence Intervention on Outcomes in Patients with Heart Failure

Authors

  • Kathleen Duncan PhD RN,

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    • Kathleen Duncan is an associate professor of nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing-Lincoln Division in Lincoln, NE.

  • Bunny Pozehl PhD RN APRN

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    • Bunny Pozehl is an associate professor of nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing-Lincoln Division in Lincoln, NE.


University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Nursing-Lincoln Division, P.O. Box 880620, Lincoln, NE 68588-0620, or e-mail kduncan@unmc.edu.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine how an exercise adherence intervention affects the physiological, functional, and quality of life outcomes of patients with heart failure (HF). Sixteen HF patients were randomly assigned to an exercise-only group (n = 8) or to an exercise-with-adherence group (n = 8). Two of the 16 people died from nonexercise related causes during the study and were not included in the analysis. The intervention was tested over a 24-week period in which patients participated in a 12-week supervised exercise program (Phase 1) followed by 12 weeks of unsupervised home exercise (Phase 2). The intervention format was one of individualized graphic feedback on exercise goals and participation and problem-solving support by nurses. Results indicate that patients who received the intervention exercised more frequently and experienced improved outcomes during both phases. The adherence intervention may encourage HF patients to continue to exercise and thereby maintain the health benefits gained in both phases of an exercise program.

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