Improve Care Compliance in 4 Easy Steps
Home exercise programs are crucial to treatment success, especially if your patients can only visit you once or less per week. How many of your patients are really doing what they are supposed to be doing? 100%? 80%? 10%? How can you increase home exercise program compliance? Here are 4 ideas that can help you make a difference:
#1 Keep it Simple
While complex and challenging exercises appeal to us, most patients don’t share the same sentiment. For some people, exercise can be intimidating and even overwhelming. It’s important to find exercises they can perform on their own without hurting themselves and while improving their condition. Start with 2 to 3 exercises that can be done in 5 or 10 minutes. The most common excuse for not sticking to an exercise program is lack of time, but who can’t find 10 minutes per day? Once the patient has dedicated 5 to 10 minutes a day for a few weeks it will become second nature.
#2 Make it Easy to Follow
Patients tend to forget most of the information provided when they walk out your door, especially when it comes to home exercise programs. Referring to an exercise by its name might be as unhelpful as sending them home with a few photos. Even images don’t show exactly how to move as they only provide a ‘snapshot’ of the relevant exercise. Thus, exercise videos will be the easiest to follow. They give patients clear ideas on exactly what to do when they are not with you.
#3 Update the Program Regularly
Once the patient is successful with the initial ‘homework’ and feels good about it, you can progress them to a slightly more challenging exercise program. This will not only make them physically adapt, but also keep the program fresh and interesting. Exercises can be easily progressed by changing the base of support to something more unstable, adding resistance or involving more muscles. One easy example is to stand on one leg instead of two when performing an upper body exercise.
#4 Make it Trackable
Ask the patient to log their daily activities. This will not only keep the patient more accountable but will also provide you with valuable feedback that can be discussed on their next office visit. In addition to sets and reps, it is important that you tell your patients to record any pain and how they felt about the exercise intensity. This will allow you to identify if you should increase exercise volume or switch to different exercises.
About WebExercises:WebExercises was created with the belief that patients want to participate in their healthcare, and if given the proper guidance they will succeed. In the rehabilitation environment, home exercise program paper handouts have been an industry standard, however we believe patients deserve more than the status quo. This has driven us to lead the industry since 2005 providing the best home exercise program and patient experience. We have delivered over 10 million exercises to patients helping them improving their health. Learn more at www.webexercises.com/join.
About the author: Friederike is the VP of Business Development and Marketing Strategy at WebExercises. She previously worked for Reebok, BMW, and the Adidas Group in the US and Asia and is an ACE certified personal trainer and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist.