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Quality and acceptability of measures of exercise adherence in musculoskeletal settings: a systematic review.

McLean, Sionnadh; Holden, Melanie A.; Potia, Tanzila; Gee, Melanie; Mallett, Ross; Bhanbhro, Sadiq; Parsons, Helen; Haywood, Kirstie

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Sionnadh McLean

Tanzila Potia

Melanie Gee

Ross Mallett

Sadiq Bhanbhro

Helen Parsons

Kirstie Haywood


OBJECTIVE: To recommend robust and relevant measures of exercise adherence for application in the musculoskeletal field. METHOD: A systematic review of measures was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 sought to identify all reproducible measures used to assess exercise adherence in a musculoskeletal setting. Phase 2 identified published evidence of measurement and practical properties of identified measures. Eight databases were searched (from inception to February 2016). Study quality was assessed against the Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments guidelines. Measurement quality was assessed against accepted standards. RESULTS: Phase 1: from 8511 records, 326 full-text articles were reviewed; 45 reproducible measures were identified. Phase 2: from 2977 records, 110 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility; 10 articles provided evidence of measurement/practical properties for just seven measures. Six were exercise adherence-specific measures; one was specific to physical activity but applied as a measure of exercise adherence. Evidence of essential measurement and practical properties was mostly limited or not available. Assessment of relevance and comprehensiveness was largely absent and there was no evidence of patient involvement during the development or evaluation of any measure. CONCLUSION: The significant methodological and quality issues encountered prevent the clear recommendation of any measure; future applications should be undertaken cautiously until greater clarity of the conceptual underpinning of each measure is provided and acceptable evidence of essential measurement properties is established. Future research should seek to engage collaboratively with relevant stakeholders to ensure that exercise adherence assessment is high quality, relevant and acceptable.

Acceptance Date Aug 26, 2016
Publication Date Dec 24, 2016
Journal Rheumatology
Print ISSN 1462-0324
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 426-438
Keywords acceptability; adherence; exercise; measurement; musculoskeletal; physical activity; quality systematic review
Publisher URL