Recently it has been shown that regular exercise is both physiologically and psychologically beneficial to patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, ESRD patients traditionally have a high non-adherence level to their self-care and medical regimens. To date, their adherence to exercise programmes has not been studied. Background information about employment, medical history, previous exercise habits and locus of control was obtained from 40 volunteer ESRD patients who started exercise at home. Twenty-eight participants maintained the exercise programme, consisting of aerobic activity lasting an average of 25 min, four times per week, for 12 weeks. The adherent patients were found to have encouraging support groups (75 versus 25%), to be between 41 and 60 years of age (64 versus 33%), to have been on dialysis for between 2 and 5 years, and to have loci of control (feeling of control over life events) classed as 'internal' (68 versus 25%). Factors such as sex, race, employment status and depression were found to have little influence on adherence. The major finding of this study was that patients adherent to exercise could be distinguished by unique psychological and psychosocial factors, and that adherence in this population was higher (70 compared with 50%) than some estimates for the general population.
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