Physical activity is an important contributor to fitness for patients with heart disease. Canadian guidelines recommend 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on most, preferably, all days of the week. Participation in an outpatient cardiac rehab program is the usual first step toward developing an exercising lifestyle after a heart problem is diagnosed. Unfortunately, many patients stop attending cardiac rehab (about 500 ‘dropouts’ per year at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute) after enrollment. As well, many patients (about 400 each year) stop exercising after they complete cardiac rehab increasing the risk of another cardiac event.
The objective of this research study is to figure out if it is possible to recruit, randomize (i.e. split participants into 2 groups for the study – control and intervention groups) and study cardiac rehab patients using questionnaires and cardiopulmonary assessment (CPA) (CPA for graduates only; not for ‘dropouts) in the context of a new financial incentive-based exercise self-monitoring program.
52-week, crossover, randomized control study. Intervention group to earn $1/day for completing exercise prescription for 26 weeks. Control group to earn non-financial rewards (hearts) for completing exercise prescription for 26 weeks. Rolling sign-up for study participation, at 26 weeks participants switch groups to end of study.
2018: Study in progress with targeted completion date of June 2018. Data analysis will commence in September 2018. Manuscript in preparation.