Predictors of adherence to a structured exercise program and physical activity participation in community dwellers after stroke

Stroke Res Treat. 2012;2012:136525. doi: 10.1155/2012/136525. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Aim. To investigate predictors of adherence to group-based exercise and physical activity participation among stroke survivors. Methods. 76 stroke survivors participated (mean age 66.7 years). Adherence was the percentage of classes attended over one year. Physical activity was the average pedometer steps/day measured over seven days at the end of the trial. Possible predictors included baseline measures of demographics, health, quality of life, falls, fear of falling, cognition, and physical functioning. Results. Mean class attendance was 60% (SD 29%). Only one variable (slow choice stepping reaction time) was an independent predictor of higher class attendance, explaining 5% of the variance. Participants completed an average of 4,365 steps/day (SD 3350). Those with better physical functioning (choice stepping reaction time, postural sway, maximal balance range, 10-m walk, or 6-min walk) or better quality of life (SF-12 score) took more steps. A model including SF-12, maximal balance range, and 6-min walk accounted for 33% of the variance in average steps/day. Conclusions. The results suggest that better physical functioning and health status are predictors of average steps taken per day in stroke survivors and that predicting adherence to group exercise in this group is difficult.