Adapted Motivational Interviewing to Promote Exercise in Adolescents With Congenital Heart Disease: A Pilot Trial

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To assess a motivational interviewing (MI) intervention to improve moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in adolescents with congenital heart disease.


Intervention participants received one-on-one telephone-based adapted MI sessions over 3 months. Outcomes were acceptability, change mechanisms (stage of change and self-efficacy), and limited efficacy (physical activity, fitness, and quality of life).


Thirty-six participants were randomized. Intervention participants completed 4.2 ± 1.2/6 MI sessions, with no improvements in the high self-efficacy or stage of change observed. Participants accumulated 47.24 ± 16.36 minutes of MVPA/day, and had comparable outcomes to peers without heart disease (except for functional capacity). There was no significant difference in change in any outcome by group.


The intervention was acceptable, but effectiveness could not be determined due to the nature and size of sample.

Clinical Relevance:

Pediatric cardiac rehabilitation remains the sole effective intervention to increase MVPA in this population.

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