While cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to be effective at improving coronary heart disease (CHD), participation is generally poor. Attempts to increase uptake and adherence often fail. Use of a Facebook intervention for this population may be a unique opportunity to support self-determined motivation and affect adherence.
To evaluate the impact of a Facebook intervention on motivation for exercise and adherence to cardiac rehabilitation in patients with CHD during a 12-week, Phase II cardiac rehabilitation program.
A prospective, randomized controlled pilot study, grounded in Self-Determination Theory, will be conducted. Participants will be recruited from inpatient, or the intake visit to outpatient, cardiac rehabilitation, and then randomly assigned to the intervention or comparison group. Participants in the intervention group will take part in a private Facebook group. Weekly posts will be designed to support self-determined motivation, measured at baseline and postcardiac rehabilitation by the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-3 (BREQ-3). The Psychological Need Satisfaction for Exercise (PNSE) scale will measure fulfillment of needs that affect motivation. Participants in the comparison group will be given the same materials, but these will be supplied via handouts and email. The number of sessions attended will be tallied and analyzed using t tests. Overall motivation will be evaluated using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) models. Multivariate analysis of variance models will be used to evaluate differences in the change across motivation subtypes. If significant, ANCOVA models for each subtype will be fit. ANCOVA models will be used to compare changes in needs satisfaction, overall and separately among the three subscales, between groups. Engagement in the Facebook group will be measured by number of “likes” and self-report of weekly visits to the group.
This project was funded in July 2017 and recruitment is currently underway. The recruitment goal is 60 cardiac rehabilitation patients. Data collection is anticipated to be complete by July 2018.
This pilot study will be the first to examine the effect of a Facebook intervention on patient adherence and motivation for exercise in a cardiac rehabilitation setting. Engagement in the Facebook group and participation in the study will help to determine the feasibility of using Facebook to affect adherence and motivation in cardiac rehabilitation patients, potentially improving outcomes through the use of a unique intervention.