Explore perceptions of physical activity/exercise in patients with chronic heart failure (HF).Background
Although activity/exercise are HF self-care expectations, perceptions of patients are not well understood.Methods
Ambulatory adults with HF were interviewed. Data were transcribed, categorized, and themes were developed.Results
Of 48 participants, mean age was 58.8 ± 13.2 years. Themes that emerged were: patients not knowing and physicians not telling; scared into doing or not doing it; life gets in the way; meaningful support versus meaningless talk; emotional connections to exercise; value does not equal motivation to move; and disconnection between self-confidence and actions. Self-confidence in and value of physical activity/exercise were not primary motivators to action. Generally, physicians failed to provide details regarding exercise dose, length, warm-up and cool-down expectations, and usual and adverse effects.Conclusions
Patient perceptions of what physical activity/exercise means are multi-dimensional; and fears, emotions, priority and participatory social support contribute to adherence.