Motivating Patients in Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial


  • Helle Spindler Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Malene Hollingdal Cardiology Ward, Regional Hospital Viborg, Viborg, Denmark
  • Jens Refsgaard Cardiology Ward, Regional Hospital Viborg, Viborg, Denmark
  • Birthe Dinesen Laboratory for Welfare Technology - Telehealth & Telerehabilitation, Sport Sciences -Performance and Technology, Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark



Heart failure, Motivation, Psychological distress, Telerehabilitation


Concerns have been raised about motivation and psychological distress when implementing telerehabilitation in patients with heart failure. The current study compared conventional and telerehabilitation in two groups (n=67; n=70) of patients with heart failure at 0, 6, and 12 months on measures of motivation (Self-Determination Theory measures) and psychological distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale). We found no significant changes in motivation across groups, although our telerehabilitation group had a slightly lower level of controlled motivation and higher levels of relatedness. In addition, there were no differences between groups with regard to psychological distress. This study demonstrates that telerehabilitation motivates patients with heart failure to the same degree as conventional rehabilitation, and that telerehabilitation is not associated with increased psychological distress. As such, telerehabilitation offers an alternative to conventional rehabilitation and addresses some of the barriers for participating in rehabilitation identified in the literature.


Author Biography

Helle Spindler, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences


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How to Cite

Spindler, H., Hollingdal, M., Refsgaard, J., & Dinesen, B. (2021). Motivating Patients in Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial . International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 13(1).