Physical activity in solid organ transplant recipients: Participation, predictors, barriers, and facilitators

Clin Transplant. 2017 Apr;31(4). doi: 10.1111/ctr.12929. Epub 2017 Mar 14.


Background: Our objectives were to describe the physical activity (PA) levels, predictors, barriers, and facilitators to PA in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients.

Methods: A web-based questionnaire was sent to members of the Canadian Transplant Association including the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), and questions regarding barriers and facilitators of PA.

Results: One hundred and thirteen SOT recipients completed the survey. The median PASE score was 164.5 (24.6-482.7). Re-transplantation was the only statistically significant predictor of levels of PA. The most common facilitators of PA included a feeling of health from activity (94%), motivation (88%), social support (76%), knowledge and confidence about exercise (74%) and physician recommendation (59%). Influential barriers were cost of fitness centers (42%), side effects post-transplant or from medications (41%), insufficient exercise guidelines (37%), and feelings of less strength post-transplant (37%).

Conclusion: There is a large variation in PA levels among SOT recipients. Multiple factors may explain the variance in PA levels in SOT recipients. Identification of facilitators and barriers to PA can inform the development of health and educational promotion strategies to improve participation among SOT recipients with low activity levels.

Keywords: exercise; physical activity; rehabilitation; solid organ transplant.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Organ Transplantation / psychology*
  • Organ Transplantation / rehabilitation*
  • Perception
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Environment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transplant Recipients*
  • Young Adult