Perceptions of adherence to home exercise programs differ between physical therapists and patients

Purpose/Hypothesis : Although home exercise programs (HEPs) are integral to physical therapy treatment, reported rates of adherence remain less than desired. This poor adherence rate may be due to different views held by physical therapists (PTs) and patients. Research concerning such perceptions about adherence is limited. The purpose of the current study was to identify whether PTs and patients views on adherence were different.Number of Subjects : Subjects were recruited from outpatient clinical sites listed in the Touro College DPT database. From the 1755 surveys distributed, a total of 70 patients and 34 PTs responded. The inclusion criteria for participation by patients required that they were between 18 and 75 years old, receiving outpatient physical therapy, and prescribed a HEP by their PT. PT participation required a minimum of 1 year experience and a physical therapy license.Materials/Methods : A 15-question, modified Likert ordinal scale survey was used to determine the individual perceptions of adherence of PTs and patients. For each question directed to the patient, a similar question was utilized to reflect the point of view of the PT. Nonparametric and parametric statistical analyses compared the differences in perceptions of adherence between PTs and patients, taking into consideration relative differences in age, gender, and educational background of respondents.Results : From the responding pool of surveys (6% of total sent), data was collected from 34 PTs (mean age 38 ± 11 years) and 70 patients (mean age 52 ± 16 years). Data analysis indicated a significant difference in summated Likert scores between PTs and patients (p<0.001, Mann Whitney U, 2-tailed). Item analysis of individual questions also showed a significant difference regarding consideration of the patientÕs everyday activities when designing the HEP (p<0.001), development of a mutually trusting relationship (p<0.05), and honesty when reporting completion of home exercises (p<0.001).Conclusions : In this study, there is a significant difference in perceptions of adherence between PTs and their patients. PTs reported they considered their patientsÕ everyday activities when designing HEPs, a factor associated with adherence, while patients did not agree that this was related to their adherence. PTs agreed that developing a mutually trusting relationship with patients would improve adherence while patients tended to disagree about the importance of this relationship. Patients also reported that they were honest with their physical therapists about completing their HEPs, while PTs felt their patients were not always honest. These differences in perceptions about adherence may contribute to the reported low adherence rates.Clinical Relevance : HEPs can be an integral part of a patientÕs physical therapy treatment. This study noted differences between PTs and patients in how they viewed adherence and the underlying factors that may influence it. By aligning views on adherence, the rates of adherence to HEPs might be augmented.

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  • Control #: 2019403
  • Type: Poster
  • Event/Year: CSM2015
  • Authors: Vanessa M. Reddin, Anthony Cardone, Matthew Heim, Waqar Muhammad, William O'Connell, Ashley Peaceman , Maryanne Driscoll
  • Keywords: adherence|perceptions|home exercise program

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