Intermittent claudication (IC) is a common condition which has severe impacts on quality of life, physical function, and mental health. Supervised exercise is the recommended first-line treatment for patients with this condition; however, these are not always feasible or accessible to patients. As the proportion of patients who have this treatment remains suboptimal, it is important to better understand the perception of exercise in this population. A gap in the literature exists about the barriers and facilitators to exercise in patients completing, dropping out of, or declining an exercise program. A qualitative analysis was undertaken to understand this further. Twenty-five patients were interviewed face to face, 10 who had completed exercise, 10 who had declined, and 5 who had dropped out of an exercise program. Three major themes emerged from the data, IC, and perception to exercise and experience or beliefs of the exercise program.Addressing the barriers and facilitators to exercise in patients with IC is crucial in optimizing the delivery and uptake of exercise programs. More education or time investment is needed with these patients during initial diagnostic to help overcome perceived barriers and emphasis healthy behavioral changes.
Bibliographical noteNOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Vascular Nursing,. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Vascular Nursing, 35:3, (2017) DOI: 10.1016/j.jvn.2017.03.001
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