Using visual methods to understand physical activity maintenance following cardiac rehabilitation
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© 2015 Hardcastle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Few studies have explored the factors associated with long-term maintenance of exercise following cardiac rehabilitation. The present study used auto-photography and interviews to explore the factors that influence motivation and continued participation in physical activity among post cardiac rehabilitation patients. Twenty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted alongside participant-selected photographs or drawings with participants that had continued participation in physical activity for at least two years following the cardiac rehabilitation programme. Participants were recruited from circuit training classes in East Sussex in the UK. Thematic content analysis revealed seven main themes: fear of death and ill health avoidance, critical incidents, overcoming aging, social influences, being able to enjoy life, provision of routine and structure, enjoyment and psychological well-being. Fear of death, illness avoidance, overcoming aging, and being able to enjoy life were powerful motives for continued participation in exercise. The social nature of the exercise class was also identified as a key facilitator of continued participation. Group-based exercise suited those that continued exercise participation post cardiac rehabilitation and fostered adherence.
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