Low back pain patients' perspectives on long-term adherence to home-based exercise programmes in physiotherapy

Jeannette Saner*, Esther M. Bergman, Rob A. de Bie, Judith M. Sieben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Adherence to an exercise programme impacts the outcome of physiotherapy treatment in patients with non-specific low back pain.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to explore the patients' perspectives on long term adherence to such exercise programmes.

Design: This qualitative study was embedded in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) which compared the effectiveness of two types of exercise programme on patients with nonspecific low back pain.

Methods: Answers from 44 participants to three open-ended questions were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results/findings: Patients' perceptions related to the following themes: 1) the role of knowledge in long-term exercise adherence; 2) strategies to support exercise adherence; 3) barriers to exercise adherence 4) the role of perceived effects of exercise.

Conclusions: Adherence to long-term exercise is supported through knowledge of the exercises and correct performance. A self-initiated training strategy is the most successful in the perception of participants. Individually supervised physiotherapy treatment that includes coaching towards strategies for post-treatment long term exercise behaviour is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
Number of pages6
JournalMusculoskeletal science and practice
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Exercise therapy
  • Adherence
  • Movement control
  • Low back pain
  • Qualitative research

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