Exploration of physical activity knowledge, preferences and support needs among pulmonary hypertension patients

Ciara McCormack, Brona Kehoe, Sarah Cullivan, Noel McCaffrey, Sean Gaine, Brian McCullagh, Niall M. Moyna, Sarah J. Hardcastle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective Physical activity (PA) is an established adjunct therapy for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients to mitigate PH symptoms and improve quality of life. However, PA engagement within this population remains low. This study investigated PH patients’ knowledge of PA, recalled advice, exercise preferences and PA support needs.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 adults (mean age 50 years; SD ±12 years) diagnosed with PH, living in Ireland. Interview scripts were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

Results: Four key themes were identified: Lack of PA knowledge; exercise setting preference; accountability and monitoring; and clinician delivered PA information and guidance.

Conclusion: This study found that PH clinicians provide suboptimal PA advice, yet patients desired clinician-delivered PA guidance. Home-based exercise was preferred with monitoring and external accountability deemed as important to facilitate sustained engagement.

Practice implications: PH clinicians are well positioned to play a critical role in assisting and empowering PH patients to engage in PA. Providing training and education to PH clinicians regarding exercise prescription may be beneficial. Further research is needed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of home-based exercise interventions to improve quality of life and physical activity in PH.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0277696
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2023


  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary/therapy
  • Ireland
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life


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