Session Title: Rehabilitation Sciences
Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ARHP)
Background/Purpose: Exercise is essential to the health and function of children with chronic diseases. Patient adherence to home exercise programs has long been an obstacle for physical and occupational therapists.
Objectives: 1.To compare the perceptions of patient adherence to home exercise programs between therapists and patients. 2. To compare differences between the perceptions of rheumatology patients and patients with other diagnoses. 3. To gain a better understanding of the barriers to exercise and tools used to overcome these barriers in a pediatric physical and occupational therapy setting.
Methods: A survey was administered to physical and occupational therapists who work at a pediatric tertiary care facility. A similar survey was given to outpatients receiving physical and/or occupational therapy at the same facility, and patients seen in the Rheumatology clinic. The surveys included demographic information, frequency of exercise and a list of barriers and facilitators to choose from. Fisher’s exact statistical analysis was used to compare responses of rheumatology patients versus non-rheumatology patients.
Results: 70 patients were surveyed; 36 from the outpatient physical and occupational therapy department and 34 from the Rheumatology clinic. The average age was 13.5(SD 3.8). 31 therapists completed the survey.
67% of therapists recommend that patients do their exercises every day, 20% 5x/week and 10% 3x/week. 40% of patients reported being noncompliant, 30% reported doing their exercises 5-7x/week, 20% reported 3-4x/week and 10% 1-2x/week.
The top cited barriers that therapists reported were patients’ lack of interest, forgetting to do their exercises and lack of family support. Top cited barriers for patients included pain, forgetting to do their exercises and boredom. For facilitators, therapists felt that making age and developmentally appropriate exercises, a written home exercise program and family /community based activities were most helpful. Patients chose participating in sports or dance, integrating exercise into daily life and exercising with family as the most important facilitators of adherence.
There were no statistically significant differences in responses between rheumatology and non-rheumatology patients (p> 0.05).
Conclusion: Therapists and patients have different perspectives on adherence to exercise, but also agree on some aspects. The reasons for adherence or non-adherence were not dependent on diagnosis. Consideration of patients’ perceived barriers and facilitators when planning home exercise programs may improve patients’ adherence.
J. R. Blitz,
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