Reasons for dropout from exercise programs in post-coronary patients
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The dropout rate in the 7-yr Ontario Exercise Heart Collaborative Study of post-coronary men engaged in exercise programs was examined in order to determine possible contributing factors. A questionnaire pertaining to psychosocial and program-related variables was distributed to 728 subjects who were previously assigned randomly on the basis of four prognostic risk factors (occupation, personality, hypertension, and angina) into exercise groups: low intensity exercise (LIE), and high intensity exercise (HIE). Comparisons of answers by the 639 respondents (266 dropouts; 373 compliers) were made initially by chi-square analysis to determine significant categories of questions and, subsequently, by a logistic transform to determine the specific questions which related significantly to the dropout rate. It was found that three main categories were associated with a high dropout rate: convenience aspects of the exercise center, perceptions of the exercise program, and family/lifestyle factors. These three main categories should be carefully considered when designing and implementing potential compliance-improving strategies for secondary prevention exercise programs entailing long-term adherence.
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