Individual experiences following a 6-month exercise intervention: A qualitative study

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Kerkelä, Ellen Staveborg ; Jonsson, Linus ; Lindwall, Magnus ; Strand, Jennifer (2015)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, volume 10 (issn: 1748-2631, eissn: 1748-2631)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4539384, doi: 10.3402/qhw.v%v.26376, doi: 10.3402/qhw.v10.26376
  • Subject: thematic analysis | Self-determination theory; inductive approach; thematic analysis; dropout: adherence | adherence | dropout | motivational interviewing | inductive approach | Health and Sports | Self-determination theory

Purpose: Dropout is a common problem in various exercise interventions. The individual’s experience is believed to greatly impact dropout, yet little is known about the individual experiences of taking part in exercise interventions. The aim of this study was to examine individuals’ experiences following a self-determination theory–based exercise intervention in order to gain understanding of how standardized interventions can be adjusted to fit individuals’ specific needs, capacities, and circumstances.Methods: A qualitative approach with semi-structured interviews was conducted with eight informants (three male and five female) aged between 26 and 47 years, whom all had participated in a 6-month exercise intervention with individual coaching based on self-determination theory and motivational interviewing. The interviews were analyzed thematically with an inductive approach.Results: Aspects that influenced the informants’ motivation and participation in the exercise intervention were linked to three themes: the frames of the intervention, measurable changes, and the individual’s context. The themes present information about the process and to what extent the informants felt that the intervention was adapted to fit their lives and needs.Conclusions: This study emphasizes the importance of individualizing exercise interventions to support individuals’ diverse capacities and psychological needs.Key words: Self-determination theory, inductive approach, thematic analysis, motivational interviewing, dropout, adherence(Published: 14 August 2015)Citation: Int J Qualitative Stud Health Well-being 2015, 10: 26376 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/qhw.v10.26376
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