Study Determines Barriers to Exercise for Arthritis Patients

Barriers include pain, lack of doctor referral, few programs and facilities for patients

FRIDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Barriers to the benefits of exercise among adults with arthritis include the obvious, such as pain, but also a lack of support from physicians and a scarcity of exercise programs tailored for arthritic patients, according to a report published online July 27 in Arthritis Care & Research.

To study the perceived barriers, enablers and benefits of exercise among adults with arthritis, Sara Wilcox, Ph.D., from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., and colleagues interviewed 68 adults with arthritis separated into 12 focus groups by exercise status, socioeconomic status and race. The patients' experiences with exercise were transcribed and analyzed by computer software to extract themes.

Pain was a barrier among all groups, and while non-exercisers were more likely to give up because of it, exercisers found ways to adapt their programs. Lack of mobility was another deterrent. Non-exercisers often believed they were physically unable to exercise, and further cited a lack of referral from their physicians and a lack of exercise programs and facilities for arthritic patients. This was a barrier for exercisers as well.

"Our findings provide useful information for understanding the experiences with and beliefs about exercise among persons with arthritis and informing recruitment and intervention strategies," the authors write.

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