Predictors of adherence to home-based physical therapies: a systematic review

Rosie Essery, Adam W A Geraghty, Sarah Kirby, Lucy Yardley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)
263 Downloads (Pure)


PURPOSE: Self-managed, home-based physical therapy (HBPT) is an increasingly common element of physical therapy rehabilitation programmes but non-adherence can reach 70%. Understanding factors that influence patients' adherence to HBPTs could help practitioners support better adherence. Research to date has focussed largely on clinic-based physiotherapy. The objective of this review, therefore, was to identify specific factors, which influence adherence to home-based, self-managed physical therapies.

METHOD: A systematic review was conducted, in which eight online databases were searched using combinations of key terms relating to physical therapies, adherence and predictors. Matching records were screened against eligibility criteria and 30 quantitative articles were quality assessed and included in the final review. Relevant data were extracted and a narrative synthesis approach was taken to aggregating findings across studies.

RESULTS: There was relatively strong evidence that the following factors predicted adherence to HBPTs: intention to engage in the HBPT, self-motivation, self-efficacy, previous adherence to exercise-related behaviours and social support.

CONCLUSIONS: This review has identified a range of factors that appear to be related to patients' adherence to their self-managed physical rehabilitation therapies. Awareness of these factors may inform design of interventions to improve adherence. Implications for Rehabilitation Non-adherence to physical rehabilitation therapies is often high - particularly in self-managed, home-based programmes, despite good adherence being important in achieving positive outcomes. The findings of this systematic review indicate that greater self-efficacy, self-motivation, social support, intentions and previous adherence to physical therapies predict higher adherence to HBPTs. Assessment of these domains before providing individuals with their HBPT regimes may allow identification of 'risk factors' for poor adherence. These can then potentially be addressed or managed prior to, or alongside, the therapy. Interventions to support patients' self-managed physical rehabilitation should include elements designed to enhance patients' self-efficacy, self-motivation and social support given the evidence that these factors are good predictors of adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-534
Number of pages16
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016

Structured keywords

  • Physical and Mental Health


  • Disabled Persons/rehabilitation
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Self Care


Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of adherence to home-based physical therapies: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this