Application of the transtheoretical model to exercise behavior and physical activity in patients after open heart surgery

Hsin Yi Huang, Yu Shan Lin, Yi Cheng Chuang, Wei Hsuan Lin, Li Ying Kuo, Jui Chun Chen, Ching Ling Hsu, Bo Yan Chen, Hui Yu Tsai, Fei Hsin Cheng, Mei Wun Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess exercise behavior and physical activity levels after open heart surgery. Methods: This prospective cohort study included 130 patients (70.8% male, aged 61.0 ± 12.2 years, 53.8% coronary bypass grafting) who underwent open heart surgery. The exercise behavior and physical activity of these patients were assessed at the 3- and 6-month follow-up appointments. Additional interviews were also conducted to further assess exercise behavior. Physical activity duration and metabolic equivalents were calculated from self-reported questionnaire responses. Moreover, possible related demographic factors, clinical features, participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs, and physical activity levels were additionally evaluated. Results: Six months after hospital discharge, most patients were in the action (39.2%) and maintenance (37.7%) stages. Other subjects were in the precontemplation (11.5%), contemplation (5.4%), and preparation (6.2%) stages. The average physical activity level was 332.6 ± 377.1 min/week and 1198.1 ± 1396.9 KJ/week. Subjects in the action and maintenance stages exercised an average of 399.4 ± 397.6min/week, significantly longer than those in other stages (116.2 ± 176.2 min/week, p = 0.02). Subjects that participated in outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs after discharge may have the better exercise habit. Gender had no significant effect on exercise behavior 6 months after hospital discharge. Conclusions: Most subjects following open heart surgery maymaintain regular exercise behavior at 6months after hospital discharge. Physical activity levels sufficient for cardiac health were achieved by subjects in the active and maintenance stages. Outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs are valuable for encouraging exercise behavior after heart surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalActa Cardiologica Sinica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


  • Exercise behavior
  • Open heart surgery
  • Physical activity
  • Transtheoretical model


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