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Ann Behav Med. 2004 Aug;28(1):52-61.

Group-mediated activity counseling and traditional exercise therapy programs: effects on health-related quality of life among older adults in cardiac rehabilitation.

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  • 1Department of Exercise and Sport Science, East Carolina University, Greenville 27858, USA.



Regular physical activity has been consistently related to improvements in health- related quality of life (HRQL) in older adults. Nevertheless, systematic investigations of the influence of exercise therapy on older men and women enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation remain sparse.


The primary purpose of this investigation was to compare the effects of a group-mediated cognitive behavioral physical activity intervention program (GMCB) to a traditional cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) with regard to changes in HRQL in a community-dwelling sample of older adults.


This randomized clinical trial assigned 147 participants who were eligible for inclusion in cardiac rehabilitation to the GMCB or traditional CRP arms. Changes in HRQL at 3 and 12 months were assessed using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) from the Medical Outcomes Study.


Mixed-model analyses yielded significant Baseline x Gender x Treatment interactions for the self-reported mental health component and the Vitality subscale of the SF-36. Decomposition of these interactions revealed that men in both exercise therapy groups and women in the GMCB treatment with low baseline values demonstrated more favorable improvements in the HRQL perceived mental health measures than women in the CRP treatment.


Improvements in HRQL among older adults enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation differ as a function of treatment, gender, and initial mental health status. Results are discussed in terms of the implications for the design of future physical activity interventions among older adults with cardiovascular disease and the measurement of their HRQL.

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