The purpose of this study was to investigate exercise behaviors in adult burn survivors and to identify barriers to exercise in this population. A two-page questionnaire developed by the authors was administered on a single occasion to adults attending the ambulatory burns clinic at a metropolitan hospital. Data from 68 adult burn survivors were analyzed. Within this cohort, 59% of subjects reported exercising several times per week or more and the remaining 41% exercised once per week or less. There was no correlation among exercise frequency and age, TBSA, or hospital length of stay. Walking was the most common type of exercise, and subjects reported lower compliance with stretching and strengthening exercises. Physical condition and motivation were identified as the main barriers to exercise. Although this preliminary study reveals that a higher proportion of burn survivors engage in exercise compared with their healthy counterparts, a substantial number are exercising just once per week or less, below the recommended guidelines to improve physical fitness. Physical and occupational therapists play an important role in providing exercise prescription and education, as well as addressing barriers to exercise in burn survivors. The potential for further research into physical activity across all domains of life using a validated questionnaire is identified.
From the Concord Hospital, Concord NSW, Australia.
Address correspondence to Jennifer Baldwin, Concord Hospital, Hospital Road, Concord, New South Wales, Australia.