From fear and insecurity to greater confidence in the body:
Women’s experiences of exercise during and after cardiac rehabilitation. A focus group interview
Scientific article in Fysioterapeuten 8/2014.
Kine Ulvestad, MSc, Institutt for ergoterapi, fysioterapi og radiografi, Høgskolen i Bergen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kari Anette Bruusgaard, høgskolelektor, Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, Fakultet for helsefag, Institutt for fysioterapi
Birgitta Blakstad Nilsson, førsteamanuensis, Institutt for ergoterapi, fysioterapi og radiografi, Høgskolen i Bergen og fysioterapeut på NIMI
Elisabet Hellem, førstelektor, Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus, Fakultet for helsefag, Institutt for fysioterapi
Purpose: In-depth understanding of what women experience as important in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) phase 2, regarding strengthening confidence in the body and promoting exercise and physical activity after a cardiovascular event.
Design and method: A qualitative study based on a focus group interview analyzed by systematic text condensation.
Material: Four women participated in CR in primary care.
Findings: Two overarching themes were identified; «Strengthened faith in the body» and «From supervised to autonomous – empowered through bodily experiences, perception and understanding».
Conclusion: This study highlights that early implementation of exercise-based CR provides valuable experiences to strengthened confidence in the body, reduced anxiety for what the heart can tolerate and increased awareness of the importance of exercise and physical activity. Skilled professionals and peers are regarded as crucial contributors to this process.
Keywords: cardiac rehabilitation, exercise, women, patient perspective, self-efficacy.