People with non-specific chronic low back pain who have participated in exercise programs have preferences about exercise: a qualitative study

Susan Carolyn Slade, Elizabeth Molloy, Jennifer Lyn Keating

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Question: What factors do participants in exercise programs for chronic low back pain perceive to be important for engagement and participation? Design: qualitative study of three focus groups. Participants: 18 adults with chronic low back pain who had participated in exercise programs for chronic low back pain. Results: All focus group results concurred and two signfiicant themes emerged from the focus group data. The first was that the experience of exercise informed participant preferences with respect to exercise environment and type of exercise. Participants described a range of positive and negative experiences, a desire to master exercise techniques, and a preference for exercise that matched their abilities and prior skills. The second significant theme was the helpful and empowering skills of the care-provider, and care-seeker ability to identify and articulate their own needs. Participants also recognised they needed to be aware of their own skills and abilities and, that financial or family support incentives encouraged their adherence to a program. Conclusion: People are likely to prefer and participate in exercise programs that are designed with consideration of their preferences, circumstances, and past exercise experiences. We propose that information about patient exercise preferences should be collected systematically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115 - 121
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Physiotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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