Factors influencing exercise participation by older adults requiring chronic hemodialysis: A qualitative study

Pia C. Kontos, Karen Lee Miller, Dina Brooks, Sarbjit Vanita Jassal, Lily Spanjevic, Gerald Michael Devins, Mary Jane Souza, Carol Heck, Judith Laprade, Gary Naglie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Despite the recognized health and psychosocial benefits of exercise for older adults with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), exercise participation remains poor. Previous research has attributed low levels of exercise to patient-related factors such as lack of motivation and fear of adverse consequences. This qualitative study involving focus group discussions with hemodialysis patients, nephrology nurses, and family care providers explored specific motivators and barriers to exercise participation in older adults requiring hemodialysis. Nurse participants were chosen for the health care provider focus groups because their prolonged and sustained contact with hemodialysis patients during the dialysis treatment sessions positions them well to encourage and promote exercise. Motivators to exercise included patient aspirations to exercise and their experiences of improvements from exercising, as well as the formal incorporation of exercise into the overall dialysis treatment plan. Barriers to exercise included nurses' lack of encouragement to exercise, transportation issues, and the use of exercise equipment that precludes participation by patients who recline during dialysis and inhibits exercise encouragement by nurses due to concerns of equipment-related injury. These findings support the need for a broader recognition of the systemic factors that may impede exercise participation by older adults requiring hemodialysis. A shift is required in the culture of ESRD treatment programs towards a wellness perspective that includes expectations of exercise encouragement by the health care team and participation by patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1303-1311
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nephrology
  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'Factors influencing exercise participation by older adults requiring chronic hemodialysis: A qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this