Effects of a Brief Motivational Interviewing Intervention on Adherence of Patients Undergoing Therapy in a Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Rachel Sieke, Angele McGrady, Dalynn Badenhop


Patients who complete a structured cardiac rehabilitation program improve physical capacity and reduce distress. However, adherence to program completion ranges widely, and non -completion of cardiac rehabilitation jeopardizes the potential benefits. This study tests the effects of a brief motivational interviewing and relaxation intervention on completion of cardiac rehabilitation in patients referred to the program after a major cardiac event. One hundred four patients were recruited into this study and randomized to the control or a four session intervention group. Patients who completed the intervention were more likely to complete cardiac rehabilitation; specifically the number of sessions completed was significantly greater (p < 0.042) compared to controls. In addition to the intervention, baseline depression and anxiety are important predictors of dropout from rehabilitation. When entering the program, later completers had significantly lower depression (p < 0.009) and anxiety (p < 0.036) scores on standardized psychological inventories in contrast to those patients who later dropped out of rehabilitation. There were no differences in entry diagnosis or number of feet walked between later completers and non-completers. Patients in both the intervention and control groups who completed rehabilitation sustained important physical and psychological benefits. They were able to walk a greater distance and reduced scores on the anxiety and depression inventories.


cardiac rehabilitation, anxiety, depression, relaxation, motivational interviewing

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18103/imr.v2i11.260


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