PURPOSE: Research suggests that cardiac rehabilitation (CR) patients need to engage in at least 6500 steps per day to obtain health benefits. Unfortunately, very little is known about the steps-per-day trajectories of these patients and whether the demographic, clinical, and CR program characteristics are similar for these trajectories.
METHODS: Patients (n = 235) completed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical variables upon entry to CR and subsequently wore a pedometer for 7 days at the end of CR, and 3, 6, and 9 months after completing CR.
RESULTS: Latent class growth analyses showed that 3 classes of patients emerged that were termed nonadherers (averaged ∼3112 steps per day at the end of CR and remained stable up to 9 months after CR), significant decliners (averaged ∼7010 steps per day at the end of CR and steadily declined after CR), and optimal adherers (averaged ∼10 700 steps per day and remained stable after CR). Logistic regressions showed that nonadherers were more likely to be obese, have at least 1 comorbidity, and a lower exercise capacity compared with the significant decliners/optimal adherers.
CONCLUSIONS: Distinct steps-per-day trajectories exist for CR patients that are partially distinguished by demographic and clinical variables.