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Goal setting, problem solving and feedback improve short-term adherence to physical activity in people with stable heart failure
  1. Bill Brennan1,
  2. Mark R Elkins2,3
  1. 1Department of Physiotherapy, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  2. 2Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  3. 3Centre for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy, The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark R Elkins, Respiratory Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Rd, Camperdown, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia; mark.elkins{at}

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▸  Tierney S, Mamas M, Woods S, et al. Heart Failure Rev, 2012;17:107–115


The prevalence of heart failure is increasing due to ageing of the population1 and improved survival of people with cardiac disease. Most people with chronic heart failure now live independently with a relatively stable disease, only presenting to tertiary centres when symptoms become severe.2

People with heart failure experience dyspnoea, fatigue and exercise intolerance. Exercise training helps to minimise these symptoms and reduce their impact on the patient's life3 ,4 by improving exercise capacity without increasing all-cause mortality. Exercise provides important benefits in health-related quality of life and may reduce heart failure-related hospital admissions.3 ,4

Health and exercise practitioners need to be aware of the exercise needs of people with stable heart failure, given the increasing numbers of these individuals living in the community and their need to undertake exercise such as cycle ergometry or brisk walking (over ground or on a treadmill). Long-term adherence to exercise is low among people with stable heart failure.5 Therefore the review by Tierney et al examined studies of interventions designed to improve long-term adherence to exercise in this population.


To synthesise the best available evidence about the effects of interventions to improve exercise adherence among people with stable heart failure.

Searches and inclusion criteria

Six key biomedical databases were searched for appropriate studies published on or before December 2010. Searches for grey literature were conducted using Google …

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  • Contributors BB and MRE selected the systematic review. MRE wrote the first draft of the manuscript. BB and MRE contributed to interpretation of the data and revision of the final manuscript, and are the guarantors.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.