Implementing the exercise consultation

Research suggests that the exercise consultation is an effective intervention for maintaining physical activity for 12 months following completion of phase III exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (Hughes, et al., 2002; Hughes, et al., 2003). Presently, patients completing phase III can attend phase IV maintenance exercise programmes in the community. However, these exercise opportunities are not available in all areas. Furthermore, some patients may not be able to attend structured phase IV programmes due to barriers associated with supervised exercise training, including transportation problems, limited access, work and domestic conflicts. Furthermore, the intervention could be used to facilitate patients' progression from phase III hospital-based exercise programmes to community-based programmes or independent exercise. Thus, the exercise consultation could be routinely provided to cardiac patients on completion of phase III to encourage maintenance of physical activity in phase IV. In addition, exercise consultation has the potential to help patients at all transitions of CR, for example, from phase I to phase II.

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