Predictors of adherence to home rehabilitation exercises following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Rehabil Psychol. 2013 Feb;58(1):64-72. doi: 10.1037/a0031297.


Objective: Although home exercises are commonly prescribed following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and are considered important in obtaining successful rehabilitation outcomes, little is known about factors associated with the completion of such exercises. Consequently, this study was designed to identify predictors of adherence to home rehabilitation exercises after ACL surgery.

Method: Participants (33 women, 58 men) completed indices of athletic identity, neuroticism, optimism, and pessimism before ACL surgery and measures of daily pain, negative mood, stress, and home exercise completion for 42 days postoperatively.

Results: Participants reported a high level of adherence to the prescribed regimen. Home exercise completion increased significantly over time as the number of sets of prescribed home exercises declined. Personal factors were not predictive of home exercise completion. Participants completed fewer home exercises on days when they experienced more stress or negative mood.

Conclusions: Day-to-day variations in negative mood and stress may contribute to adherence to prescribed home exercises.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / psychology*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / rehabilitation*
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Pain Measurement / psychology
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / psychology*
  • Prognosis
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult