Examining Compliance, Barriers and Facilitators to Ongoing Aquatic Exercise Post Discharge from Hospital Outpatient Aquatic Therapy
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the level of compliance with a continued aquatic exercise program following discharge from a limited hospital outpatient aquatic service, and to discover patient perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to ongoing aquatic exercise in the community. Methods: A cross-sectional telephone survey comprising both closed and open-ended questions was conducted. Participants were 25 people who had attended a minimum of six outpatient aquatic physiotherapy sessions. Self-reported compliance with continued aquatic exercise, and descriptions of barriers and facilitators to this were recorded. Responses to open-ended questions were recorded verbatim and thematically analysed by investigators. Results: Eight out of 25 participants were continuing with a community-based aquatic exercise program as instructed (30%, Wald binomial 95% confidence interval 1752%). A range of barriers and facilitators were identified. Major themes for non-compliance included reduced perception of therapeutic outcome from aquatic physiotherapy and external constraints (e.g. transport difficulties and cost associated with access). The central theme for continued compliance was a perceived positive outcome of aquatic physiotherapy combined with ready access to a heated pool. Increasing compliance of ongoing aquatic exercise post discharge from an aquatic therapy program may require greater emphasis on educating patients as to the benefits of ongoing participation.
Journal of Aquatic Physical Therapy
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