“We are all there for the same purpose”: Support for an integrated community exercise program for older adults with HF and COPD

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Abstract

Background

Despite well-established improvements following rehabilitation, functional gains often diminish following discharge.

Objective

To explore the attitudes of older adults with HF and COPD, who have completed rehabilitation, toward community-based exercise maintenance.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 individuals with HF or COPD.

Results

Deductive thematic analysis uncovered three themes: 1) transitioning to community exercise is challenging, highlighting participants’ struggle with unstructured maintenance and a lack of appropriate programs; 2) a structured, group-based program tailored to functional ability facilitates adherence, describing participants views on the importance of routine, and accountability; and 3) “We are all there for the same purpose” – participant support for integrated exercise, including the benefit of multiple perspectives and sustainability.

Conclusions

A motivating program leader and access to appropriate facilities are key features to support adherence to prescribed activity. Tailored programs can be delivered consecutively to older adults with HF and COPD.

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