INTRODUCTION: A novel high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programme has demonstrated feasibility for patients with intermittent claudication (IC). The aim of this study was to explore patient perspectives of the HIIT programme to inform refinement and future research.
METHODS: All patients screened and eligible for the 'high intensity interval training in patients with intermittent claudication (INITIATE)' study, were eligible to take part in a semi-structured interview. A convenience subsample of patients was selected from three distinct groups: 1) those who completed the HIIT programme, 2) those who prematurely discontinued the HIIT programme and 3) those who declined the HIIT programme. Interviews considered patients views of the programme and experiences of undertaking and/or being invited to undertake it. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed via thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Eleven out of 31 participants who completed the programme and twelve out of 38 decliners were interviewed. No participants who withdrew from the programme agreed to interview. The three key themes were; personal reflections of the programme; programme facilitators and barriers; and perceived benefits. Completers enjoyed taking part, reported symptomatic improvement and would complete it again. Practical and psychological barriers exist, such as transport and motivation. Changes to the programme were suggested.
CONCLUSION: Findings support the acceptability of this novel HIIT programme, which in combination with the feasibility findings, suggest that a fully powered randomised controlled trial, comparing HIIT to usual-care supervised exercise programmes is warranted.
Bibliographical note2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access
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