Purpose: Physiotherapists frequently prescribe home exercise programmes for individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD); however, little is known about clients' perceptions of such programmes and any barriers that may affect participation and compliance.
Method: A qualitative design was used to capture the attitudes and experiences of people with early-mid stage HD and PD, and with physiotherapists who have experience in neurodegenerative diseases. Two focus groups were conducted for physiotherapists (n = 8); individual interviews were conducted for clients with HD and PD (n = 10). Conversations were digitally recorded and transcribed, and transcriptions were analysed using grounded theory and validated through researcher triangulation. Concepts were categorised according to emerging themes and findings were verified by participants.
Results: Both groups cited several barriers to engagement in exercise programmes, which included disease-specific impairments, individual safety and the location at which exercising takes place. Therapists felt that a client's cognition could affect their ability to participate in an exercise programme. Therapists and clients offered a number of strategies to overcome barriers to exercise.
Conclusions: Therapists should work in collaboration with clients to evaluate their individual considerations, identify barriers to exercise and design a client-specific programme that is acceptable and feasible for the client.