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Keywords:

  • exercise behavior;
  • health education;
  • heart disease;
  • meta-analysis;
  • systematic review

Abstract

Background and Objective

Regular exercise has been shown to be beneficial to patients with heart disease. Previous studies have indicated that health education can effectively increase participants’ physical activity. However, no systematic review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of health education programs on changing exercise behavior among patients with heart disease. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of health education programs on exercise behavior among heart disease patients.

Method

Potential studies were retrieved in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMbase, PsycINFO, the British Nursing Index and Archive, Science Direct, and ERIC via EBSCOhost. Meta-analysis was done using the random-effect model.

Results

Thirty-seven studies were identified. Only 12 studies delivered health education based on various theories/models. Twenty-eight studies were included in the meta-analyses. The results showed that health education had significantly positive effects on exercise adherence (risk ratio = 1.35 to 1.48), exercise duration (SMD = 0.25 to 0.69), exercise frequency (MD = 0.54 to 1.46 session/week), and exercise level (SMD = 0.25), while no significant effects were found on exercise energy expenditure and cognitive exercise behavior.

Conclusion

Health education has overall positive effects on changing exercise behavior among heart disease patients. Few theoretical underpinning studies were conducted for changing exercise behavior among heart disease patients. The findings suggest that health education improves exercise behavior for heart disease patients. Health professionals should reinforce health education programs for them.