Long-term effects of two psychological interventions on physical exercise and self-regulation following coronary rehabilitation

Falko Sniehotta, U. Scholz, R. Schwarzer, B. Fuhrmann, U. Kiwus, H. Völler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In cardiac rehabilitation programs, patients learn how to adopt a healthier lifestyle, including regular strenuous physical activity. Long-term success is only modest despite good intentions. To improve exercise adherence, a 3-group experiment was designed that included innovative psychological interventions. All 3 groups underwent a standard care rehabilitation program. Patients in the 2 treatment groups were instructed not only to produce detailed action plans but also to develop barrier-focused mental strategies. On top of this, in I of these groups a weekly diary was kept for 6 weeks to increase a sense of action control. At the end of a standard cardiac rehabilitation program, 240 patients were randomly assigned to these treatment groups plus a standard care control group. Treatments resulted in more physical activity at follow-up and better adherence to recommended levels of exercise intensity. Moreover self-regulatory skills such as planning and action control were improved by the treatments. Follow-up analyses demonstrated the mediating mechanisms of self-regulatory skills in the process of physical exercise maintenance. Findings imply that interventions targeting self-regulatory skills can enable postrehabilitation patients to reduce behavioral risk factors and facilitate intended lifestyle changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-255
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • physical exercise
  • adherence
  • planning
  • intentions
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • CARDIAC REHABILITATION
  • PLANNED BEHAVIOR
  • IMPLEMENTATION INTENTIONS
  • HEART-DISEASE
  • CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE
  • OF-CARDIOLOGY
  • PREVENTION
  • GUIDELINES
  • MOTIVATION
  • STATEMENT

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