Predictors of exercise adherence following participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program

Beth C. Bock, Anna E. Albrecht, Regina M. Traficante, Matthew M. Clark, Bernardine M. Pinto, Peter Tilkemeier, Bess H. Marcus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Patients who participate in cardiac rehabilitation programs (CRP) experience significant improvements in quality of life, rehospitalization rates, and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease. The potential efficacy of CRP is limited however, by significant program dropout rates and poor patient adherence to prescribed exercise regimens following rehabilitation. Recently, models of motivational readiness for behavior change, such as the Transtheoretical Model, have been applied to understanding the process of exercise adoption and maintenance. Interventions based on this dynamic model of behavior change have produced significant improvement in adherence to exercise in community and worksite populations. This study investigates the applicability of this model to this special population. Sixty-two men and women completed measures of motivational readiness, self-efficacy, and decisional balance for exercise adoption upon entry into a 12-week cardiac rehabilitation program at posttreatment and at a 3-month follow-up. Patients made significant gains during CRP in time spent exercising and self-efficacy, but not in utilization of the cognitive processes or in the perceived benefits of exercising. Exercise maintenance at follow-up was differentially associated with self-efficacy, decisional balance, and use of behavioral processes at posttreatment. Motivation-based models of exercise adoption may provide insights regarding the adoption and maintenance of regular physical activity in cardiac rehabilitation populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-75
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Exercise
  • Motivation
  • Stage of change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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