Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 163–168 | Cite as

Physical exercise rehabilitation: Long-term dropout rate in cardiac patients

  • Timothy P. Carmody
  • John W. Senner
  • Manuel R. Malinow
  • Joseph D. Matarazzo


The long-term dropout rate was examined in a physical exercise rehabilitation program in which 203 cardiac patients were followed for 40 months. The dropout curve was found to be downward-sloping and negatively accelerated with most of the dropouts occurring during the first 3 months. This dropout rate appeared to resemble the group relapse curve previously found in the treatment of addictive behaviors. Implications of the present findings are discussed in terms of the development of strategies to facilitate long-term compliance.

Key words

physical exercise training cardiac rehabilitation compliance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barry, A. J., Daly, J. W., Pruett, D. R., Steinmetz, J. R., Birkhead, N. W., and Rodahl, K. (1966). Effects of physical training in patients who have had myocardial infarction.Am. J. Cardiol. 17: 1–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Brunner, D. (1966). The influence of physical activity on incidence and prognosis of ischemic heart disease. In Raab, W. (ed.),Prevention of Ischemic Heart Disease, Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Ill.Google Scholar
  3. Foreyt, J. P., Scott, L. W., Mitchell, R. E., and Gotto, A. M. (1979). Plasma lipid changes in the normal population following behavioral treatment.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 47: 440–452.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Gottheimer, V. (1968). Long-range strenuous sports training for cardiac reconditioning and rehabilitation.Am. J. Cardiol. 22: 426–435.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Greenberg, M. A., Arbeit, S., and Rubin, I. L. (1979). The role of physical training in patients with coronary artery disease.Am. Heart J. 97: 527–534.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Haskell, W. L. (1979). Physical activity after myocardial infarction.Am. J. Cardiol. 33: 776–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hellerstein, H. K. (1968). Exercise therapy in coronary disease.Bull. N.Y. Acad. Med. 44: 1028–1047.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Hunt, W. A., and Bespalec, D. A. (1973). An evaluation of current methods of modifying smoking behavior.J. Clin. Psychol. 29: 431–438.Google Scholar
  9. Hunt, W. A., and Matarazzo, J. D. (1970). Habit mechanisms in smoking. In Hunt, W. A. (ed.),Learning Mechanisms in Smoking, Aldine, Chicago.Google Scholar
  10. Hunt, W. A., and Matarazzo, J. D. (1973). Three years later: Recent developments in the experimental modification of smoking behavior.J. Abnorm. Psychol. 81: 107–114.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hunt, W. A., Barnett, L. W., and Branch, L. G. (1971). Relapse rates in addiction programs.J. Clin. Psychol. 27: 455–456.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Hunt, W. A., Matarazzo, J. D., Weiss, S. M., and Gentry, W. D. (1979). Associative learning, habit and health behavior.J. Behav. Med. 2: 111–124.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Kavanagh, T., Shephard, R. J., Doney, H., and Randit, V. (1973). Intensive exercise in coronary rehabilitation.Med. Sci. Sports 5: 34–39.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kentala, E. (1972). Physical fitness and feasibility of physical rehabilitation after myocardial infarction in men of working age.Ann. Clin. Res. 4 (Suppl. 9): 1–84.Google Scholar
  15. Litman, G. L., Eiser, J. R., and Taylor, C. (1979). Dependence, relapse, and extinction: A theoretical critique and a behavioral examination.J. Clin. Psychol. 35: 192–199.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Oldridge, N. B., Wicks, J. R., Hanley, C., Sutton, J. R., and Jones, N. L. (1978). Noncompliance in an exercise rehabilitation program for men who have suffered a myocardial infarction.Can Med. Assoc. J. 118: 361–364.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Sutton, S. R. (1979). Interpreting relapse curves.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 47: 96–98.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Wilhelmsen, L., Sanne, H., Elmfeldt, D., Grimby, G., Tibblin, G., and Wedel, H. (1975). A controlled trial of physical training after myocardial infarction.Prevent. Med. 4: 491–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wyndham, C. H. (1979). The role of physical activity in the prevention of ischemic heart disease.S.A. Med. J. 56: 7–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy P. Carmody
    • 1
  • John W. Senner
    • 2
  • Manuel R. Malinow
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joseph D. Matarazzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical PsychologyUniversity of Oregon Health Sciences CenterPortland
  2. 2.Oregon Regional Primate CenterBeaverton
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of Oregon Health Sciences Center; YMCA of Columbia-WillamettePortland

Personalised recommendations