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Parkinson’s Disease

Exploring Motives for Long-Term Adherence to a Group Exercise Program

Cleary, Ann Selena, DN, RN, NP-C, CNE

doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000187
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Purpose The aim of this study was to explore why people with Parkinson’s disease maintained attendance at a community group exercise program.

Design Qualitative design was used for this study.

Methods A purposive sample was used to recruit participants. Interviews with individual and focus groups collected narrative data that were interpreted using content analysis.

Findings Eighteen participants enrolled in the study. Four themes emerged: (1) changing and challenging workout; (2) gaining strength, inspiration, and knowledge and doing it among friends; (3) professionals, not amateurs; and (4) holistic lasting benefit.

Conclusions For the participants in this study, exercising in a group among peers in an enjoyable, varied, and challenging program that was structured, supportive, and supervised provided incentive for maintaining attendance.

Clinical Relevance Exercise is a life-long recommendation for everyone, including people with Parkinson’s disease, for whom maintaining attendance is more challenging. The words of these participants encourage healthcare providers to consider the relevance of socialization, supervision, and structure when developing exercise programs for this population.

Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Correspondence: Ann Selena Cleary, DN, RN, NP-C, CNE, Harriet Rothkopf Heilbrunn School of Nursing, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY, USA. E-mail:

Cite this article as: Cleary, A. S. (2018). Parkinson’s disease—Exploring motives for long-term adherence to a group exercise program. Rehabilitation Nursing, 00(0), 00–00. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000187

© 2019 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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