Exercise Perceptions and Experiences in Adults with Crohn's Disease Following a Combined Impact and Resistance Training Program: A qualitative study

Katherine Jones, Jenni Naisby, Katherine Baker, Garry Tew

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Exercise is increasingly being recognized to counteract specific complications of Crohn's disease (CD). The aim of this study was to explore exercise experiences and perceptions after engaging in a combined impact and resistance training program, involving both intervention and control group viewpoints.

METHODS: Semistructured telephone interviews, involving a convenience sample of participants with CD ( n = 41; aged 49.1 ± 12 years) were undertaken up to 6 weeks following completion of the program. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Four overarching themes emerged, along with 11 subthemes: (1) Lack of confidence and knowledge, fears surrounding physical ability and symptoms, coupled with issues not addressed as part of the healthcare pathway played a part in transitioning to inactivity; (2) Improvements in strength, mental well-being, physical fitness, fatigue, abdominal and joint pain, comorbidities, and self-management strategies were among the reported benefits of exercise participation; (3) Seeing progress, goal setting, enjoyment, and a peer-led program receiving support and advice increased motivation. Whereas work-related tiredness, other commitments, and self-directed exercise were reported as exercise barriers; (4) The intervention design was well received and the journey from start to finish was positively discussed, important considerations for future interventions and implementation strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: The study yielded novel perceptions on the transition to inactivity following receiving a diagnosis, physical and psychological benefits accruing from the intervention, and views on program design. Information that will provide an essential step in the development of implementing exercise guidelines into the clinical pathway and supporting individuals with self-management options.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberotad019
Number of pages12
JournalCrohn's and Colitis 360
Issue number2
Early online date24 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

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