7 Simple Strategies For Enhancing Patient Adherence In A Home Exercise Program

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_padding=”||30px||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”postimg-subtext” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]When it comes to feeling empowered in a home exercise program, patient adherence is essential for its effectiveness, since it directly affects the success of physical therapy and can prevent setbacks and re-injury, maintain progress, and sustain functional abilities. As a result, understanding the factors that influence patient adherence is crucial for physical therapists to develop strategies that enhance compliance and optimize patient outcomes. By implementing effective strategies and promoting patient adherence, physical therapists can maximize the benefits of a home exercise program and contribute to successful rehabilitation outcomes.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_padding=”33px||0px||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”inpost-title” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

What is a Home Exercise Program?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]We all might be familiar with home workouts, but these aren’t quite the same as a home exercise workout, so let’s make the distinction. In physical therapy, a home exercise program (HEP) is a set of exercises prescribed by a physical therapist for patients to perform independently at home.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]These exercises aim to:

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Ideally, an HEP is tailored to each patient’s needs with considerations of their diagnosis, limitations, and goals to empower patients to take an active role in their recovery, allowing them to continue rehabilitation outside of therapy sessions. An HEP is a vital component of physical therapy that empowers patients to actively participate in their recovery process, and it promotes continuity of care, allows for consistent engagement in therapeutic activities, and ultimately enhances the potential for positive outcomes in rehabilitation.

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Increasing Patient Satisfaction &
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Why Patient Adherence Matters

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Patient adherence has become a highly prevalent topic in physical therapy, and for good reason. If you’re not familiar with patient adherence, it essentially refers to how well patients stick to their recommended HEPs in terms of frequency, duration, and intensity, and it directly affects how effective the physical therapy is for the patient.

Adherence to an HEP also prevents setbacks and re-injury, while helping to both maintain progress made during therapy sessions as well as minimize regression. It enhances stability, promotes healing, and prevents deconditioning, sustaining functional abilities and preventing relapses.

On top of that, adherence reflects a commitment to self-management and active participation in recovery. It empowers patients, fosters control, and promotes a proactive mindset.

Finally, patient adherence contributes to a positive therapeutic alliance by creating a partnership, enhancing communication, and building trust.

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Factors Affecting Patient Adherence in Home Exercise Programs

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_margin=”||60px||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”]Several factors can influence exercise adherence to HEPs in physical therapy, and understanding them is crucial for physical therapists to develop strategies that enhance compliance and optimize patient outcomes.

Here are some key factors that can impact adherence in exercise programs:[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_margin=”||60px||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Motivation and Beliefs

If you’re motivated, you’re more likely to stay committed, and this certainly applies to patients with their HEPs. But when patients feel doubts surrounding the effectiveness of an exercise, or even their own ability to do it, can get in the way of motivation. According to one editorial from The British Medical Journal, a patient’s perceptions, along with their habits, attitudes, and beliefs, can cause them to have misconceptions about their condition, and their preferences for certain interventions may be ineffective or even harmful. Overcoming this barrier and ensuring a successful intervention plan requires a strong relationship, trust, and effective communication between the physical therapist and the patient.

That’s why physical therapists need to tackle these beliefs head-on, teach patients about the benefits of exercise, and create a supportive environment that boosts their motivation.

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Accessibility and Convenience

The accessibility and convenience of an HEP can greatly impact how likely a patient is to follow through on it. If the exercises require equipment they don’t have, or if they take up too much time, it can discourage patients from sticking to the program. That’s why physical therapists must consider a patient’s environment, resources, and schedule.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Physical and Emotional Barriers

Physical limitations like pain and fatigue, or emotional factors like stress, anxiety, or depression can greatly hinder patient adherence in an exercise program, as they may find it challenging to perform exercises consistently if they experience discomfort or are emotionally overwhelmed. Physical therapists should carefully assess and address these barriers, providing modifications, pain management strategies, or psychological support when necessary.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” custom_padding=”35px||30px||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text module_class=”inpost-title” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

How to Create a Home Exercise Program that Can Improve Patient Adherence

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]For both physical and occupatiional therapists, it is not just your responsibility to prescribe HEPs, but also to ensure that your patients are following them diligently. Any patient’s road to recovery is a rocky one, but adherence to a HEP can significantly improve patient outcomes.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ make_equal=”on” specialty=”on” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Mask-Group-362@2x.png” background_size=”custom” background_image_width=”50%” background_position=”top_left” width=”100%” max_width=”100%” inner_width=”100%” inner_max_width=”100%” custom_padding=”200px||||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text module_class=”card-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

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Help Them Understand the Purpose

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Educating patients about the purpose and goals of their HEP helps them grasp the relevance and importance of each exercise. Numerous studies from the Johns Hopkins University about patient adherence have consistently shown that patients’ comprehension of their medical conditions and treatment plans is directly linked to their adherence. Additionally, there is a positive correlation between adherence, patient satisfaction, recall, and the quantity and quality of information provided to patients.

When patients understand how specific exercises contribute to their recovery or functional improvement, they are more motivated to perform them consistently which, in turn, enhances patient engagement and compliance. That’s why Physiotec places a strong emphasis on providing knowledge through resources and literature for patient education.

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Include Photos & Videos in Your Home Exercise Program

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Including photos and videos in HEPs for physical therapy patients can offer several significant benefits. Photos and videos provide visual demonstrations of exercises, allowing patients to have a clear understanding of how each exercise should be performed. Written instructions alone may be open to interpretation or may not provide enough detail for patients to execute exercises correctly. By including visual media, physical therapists can ensure that patients have a clear and accurate understanding of the exercise techniques, proper form, and movement patterns.

Visual cues in photos and videos can also help patients refine their technique and ensure they are performing exercises with the correct form. This is particularly crucial in physical therapy, as improper technique can lead to further injury or hinder progress. Patients can observe proper body alignment, joint positions, and movement patterns through visual media, enabling them to mimic the correct form and reduce the risk of injury.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ make_equal=”on” specialty=”on” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Mask-Group-364@2x.png” background_size=”custom” background_image_width=”50%” background_position=”top_left” width=”100%” max_width=”100%” inner_width=”100%” inner_max_width=”100%” custom_margin=”||0px||false|false” custom_padding=”200px||||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text module_class=”card-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

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Include Brief Descriptions of Each Exercise

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Including brief exercise descriptions in home exercise programs for physical therapy patients offers several benefits that contribute to the overall effectiveness of the program and patient compliance.

Providing clear and concise descriptions of exercises helps patients better understand how to perform them correctly. Written instructions can clarify important details such as body position, movement patterns, and proper form. This understanding reduces the risk of incorrect execution, minimizes the potential for injury, and ensures that patients receive the intended benefits from each exercise.

Exercise descriptions serve as a valuable reference for patients, especially when they are performing exercises independently at home. By having a clear description of each exercise, patients can refer back to it whenever they need a reminder of the correct technique. This helps them stay on track with their home exercise program and encourages compliance, as they feel confident in their ability to perform the exercises accurately.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ module_class=”guide-banner” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/enhance.png” background_position=”center_right” custom_margin=”||60px||false|false” custom_padding=”20px||20px||false|false” background_last_edited=”on|tablet” background_image_tablet=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_image_phone=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Banner-Mobile-–-2.png” background_enable_image_tablet=”on” background_enable_image_phone=”on” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row column_structure=”1_2,1_4,1_4″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″ _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

Enhance your Patient Adherence

Get your Free Trial Today!

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Use Home Exercise Program Software

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]With visual demonstrations and progress tracking, HEP software can empower patients to perform exercises correctly and stay motivated.

HEP software also facilitates communication between patients and therapists. Therapists can provide feedback and address concerns remotely, while patients can share progress and difficulties. This ongoing interaction strengthens the therapeutic relationship and ensures guidance and support throughout the rehabilitation journey.

HEP software also enables comprehensive documentation, since it automatically records exercise details, aiding clinical assessments, insurance claims, and research. Additionally, patient information can be securely stored and shared among healthcare providers involved in the patient’s care.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ make_equal=”on” specialty=”on” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Mask-Group-366@2x.png” background_size=”custom” background_image_width=”50%” background_position=”top_left” width=”100%” max_width=”100%” inner_width=”100%” inner_max_width=”100%” custom_padding=”200px||||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text module_class=”card-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

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Measure Patient Adherence

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Tracking adherence allows healthcare professionals to evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed exercises and make necessary adjustments while promoting patient accountability and motivation, leading to higher compliance rates and increased patient engagement.

Monitoring adherence also provides valuable data for evaluating treatment progress over time and identifying correlations between adherence levels and treatment success. This data-driven approach helps therapists make informed decisions about treatment adjustments and resource allocation. Additionally, measuring adherence fosters effective communication and collaboration between patients and providers, allowing for personalized feedback and addressing any challenges or concerns. Overall, incorporating adherence measurement into physical therapy practices enhances treatment outcomes, optimizes patient engagement, and improves the quality of care.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column_inner][/et_pb_row_inner][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ make_equal=”on” specialty=”on” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” background_image=”https://physiotec.ca/ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/09/Mask-Group-367@2x.png” background_size=”custom” background_image_width=”50%” background_position=”top_left” width=”100%” max_width=”100%” inner_width=”100%” inner_max_width=”100%” custom_padding=”200px||||false|false” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”1_4″ _builder_version=”4.16″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text module_class=”card-number” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]

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Customize Home Exercise Programs as Needed

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Customization is essential in physical therapy for several reasons. Firstly, each patient has a unique medical condition or injury that requires a tailored exercise program. A one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable as what works for one patient may not work for another. By customizing the program, therapists can address specific needs, limitations, and goals for recovery.

On top of that, customization ensures that exercises are suitable for the patient’s abilities and fitness level; some patients may also have physical limitations that require modifications. This ensures that the exercises are challenging enough for progress and recovery but not too strenuous to cause harm.

Additionally, customization takes into account the patient’s preferences and lifestyle factors. By aligning the program with their preferences and fitting it into their routine, therapists increase adherence and long-term engagement.

Furthermore, customization accommodates the patient’s progress and adjusts the program accordingly. As patients improve, their abilities and needs change. Therapists regularly assess progress and make modifications to continue challenging and facilitating improvement. This flexibility ensures the program remains effective throughout the rehabilitation journey.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text module_class=”big-bullet” _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Here are some key factors that can impact adherence in exercise programs:

Strength Training

Substitute barbell squats with bodyweight or wall squats using a stability ball if the original exercise is challenging due to lack of equipment or discomfort. These alternatives continue to target lower body muscles while being more manageable and accessible.

Balance and Stability

Original balance exercise of standing on one leg for 30 seconds can be adjusted to be performed while brushing teeth or cooking. This merges the exercise into daily activities, thereby promoting regular practice.

Flexibility

Instead of a static hamstring stretch, therapists may set a goal for patients to touch their toes within a certain timeframe. The program can be adjusted with additional stretches and progress tracked, fostering motivation and adherence. Note: These are illustrative examples. Actual program adjustments should be personalized and supervised by a qualified physical therapist.

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Encourage Regular Feedback and Open Communication

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Educating patients about the purpose and goals of their HEP helps them grasp the relevance and importance of each exercise. Numerous studies have consistently shown that patients’ comprehension of their medical conditions and treatment plans is directly linked to their adherence. Additionally, there is a positive correlation between adherence, patient satisfaction, recall, and the quantity and quality of information provided to patients.

When patients understand how specific exercises contribute to their recovery or functional improvement, they are more motivated to perform them consistently which, in turn, enhances patient engagement and compliance. That’s why Physiotec places a strong emphasis on providing knowledge through resources and literature for patient education.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”4.21.0″ _module_preset=”default” global_colors_info=”{}”]Examples of how a physical therapist might encourage regular feedback and open communication can include:

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You can read here the FAQs related to this post

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Physiotec’s Remote Therapeutic Monitoring solution is available as part of our Enterprise HEP subscription.

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Featured Resources

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