Development of a measure to assess adherence to exercise: the Exercise Adherence Rating Scale (EARS)

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Abstract text
Introduction:Exercise is an important way of treating chronic illness but adherence to exercise is often poor and there is currently no validated measure of it. The Exercise Adherence Rating Scale (EARS) is a new measure assessing adherence to prescribed exercise. Validation of the EARS was conducted using a study of patients with chronic low back pain in the UK.
Methods:The EARS has 13-items generated from a systematic review and interviews with patients, physiotherapists and psychologists. Items are scored using a 5-point Likert scale (completely agree to completely disagree), where a higher score indicates greater adherence. Construct validity was investigated using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and convergent validity by correlating relationships between EARS factors and baseline pain and disability. Intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated to assess the test-retest reliability.
Results:150 participants, mean age 50 and 60% female, were recruited from physiotherapist-led back rehabilitation classes at three hospitals in London and completed baseline demographic, pain and disability data and six week adherence data. EFA revealed a two factor solution explaining 47% of the variance in adherence to exercise. Sub-scale 1 (7 items) assesses negative adherence factors and sub-scale 2 (6 items) assesses positive adherence factors. Sub-scale 1 was found to be significantly associated with pain. Internal consistency was acceptable and test re-test reliability was high for both subscales.
Conclusion:The EARS is a validated self-report measure that can discriminate between levels of adherence to exercise that has been prescribed by a health care professional.
Abstract internet id: 0684
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Journal of Behavioural Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationAbstract supplement
Number of pages1
Volume21 (S1)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014


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