Motivators for uptake and maintenance of exercise: perceptions of long-term stroke survivors and implications for design of exercise programmes.
Disability and Rehabilitation
Taylor & Francis (Routledge): STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Taylor & Francis via the DOI in this record.
PURPOSE: Exercise-after-stroke programmes are increasingly being provided to encourage more physical exercise among stroke survivors, but little is known about what motivates people with stroke to participate in them. This research aimed to identify factors that motivate long-term stroke survivors to exercise, and the implications for programme design. METHODS: In two separate studies, focus groups and individual interviews were used to investigate the views of long-term stroke survivors on exercise and participating in exercise programmes. Their data were analysed thematically, and the findings of the studies were synthesised. RESULTS: Eleven stroke survivors and two partners took part in two focus groups; six other stroke survivors (one with a partner) were interviewed individually. Factors reported to influence motivation were the psychological benefits of exercise, a desire to move away from a medicalised approach to exercise, beliefs about stroke recovery, and on-going support to sustain commitment. A number of potential implications of these themes for exercise programme design were identified. CONCLUSIONS: A range of personal beliefs and attitudes and external factors may affect the motivation to exercise, and these vary between individuals. Addressing these factors in the design of exercise programmes for long-term stroke survivors may enhance their appeal and so encourage greater engagement in exercise. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: Exercise programmes may be more attractive to long-term stroke survivors if the psychological well-being benefits of participation are emphasised in their promotion. Some participants will be more attracted by programmes that are de-medicalised, for example, by being located away from clinical settings, and led by or involving suitably-trained non-clinicians. Programmes offered in different formats may attract stroke survivors with different beliefs about the value of exercise in stroke recovery. Programmes should provide explicit support strategies for on-going engagement in exercise.
This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health in England. The authors report no other declarations of interest.
Disability and Rehabilitation, 2015, Vol. 37, Issue 9, pp. 795 - 801
Place of publication