Psychological responses and adherence to exercise in heart failure

Kathleen Duncan, Bunny Pozehl, Melody Hertzog, Joseph F. Norman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe psychological effects and exercise adherence during a multicomponent exercise training intervention. Methods A sample of 42 patients with heart failure were randomized into an exercise (INV) group (n = 22) and an attention control (AC) group (n = 20). The exercise protocol included two 12-week phases, a structured phase and a self-managed phase. The psychological responses assessed were mood states and exercise self-efficacy. To meet the second purpose of the study, the exercise group was dichotomized based on the number of sessions completed to create two adherence subgroups. Findings Results indicate self-efficacy improved for the INV group and was maintained during the self-management phase. The adherence subgroups demonstrated different patterns for weekly exercise. Depression and confusion scores improved for the high-adherence group in contrast to worsening for the low-adherence group. Conclusions Results suggest a need for further study of the psychological responses of exercise adherence for patients with heart failure. Clinical Relevance The study indicates the importance of continuous assessment of exercise participation and longer term adherence support for patients with heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalRehabilitation Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Heart failure
  • adherence
  • exercise
  • frequency
  • psychological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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