Fear of movement a common problem among patients with coronary artery disease

November 26, 2012, University of Gothenburg

A doctoral thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has found that one out of five patients with coronary artery disease experience such a great fear of movement (kinesiophobia) that their health may suffer as a result.

Due to fear that movement will harm them, many patients with avoid exercise and physical activity. Kinesiophobia, which is a normal psychological reaction in the acute stage after a , prevents many patients from participating in a .

A doctoral thesis by researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, demonstrates that kinesiophobia is more common than previously believed. Doctoral student Maria Bäck looked at 332 patients with coronary artery disease six months after the acute cardiac event. She found occurrence of kinesiophobia in one out of every five patients.

"The situation is serious," Ms. Bäck says. "Patients with kinesiophobia were less likely to participate in cardiac rehabilitation, performed worse on muscle tests and reported less physical activity, primarily medium and high-frequency activities. They also experienced poorer quality of life, as well as higher degrees of , than patients without kinesiophobia.

This is the first study exploring kinesiophobia in patients with coronary artery disease. The phenomenon is familiar to clinical practitioners, however, and studies of other patient populations – particular those with chronic pain – have found that kinesiophobia poses an obstacle to successful rehabilitation.

Ms. Bäck's thesis shows that attending exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation decreases the odds for kinesiophobia. The researchers concluded that patients with kinesiophobia must be identified as early as possible after a cardiac event, if they are to follow through on exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation.

"Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation clearly reduces mortality and morbidity and has a salutary psychological impact," Ms. Bäck says. "So designing targeted interventions for rehabilitation of patients with kinesiophobia is extremely important."

Explore further: High blood sugar lowers chances of surviving a heart attack

Related Stories

High blood sugar lowers chances of surviving a heart attack

March 26, 2012
Patients with high blood sugar run an increased risk of dying if they have a heart attack, and diabetics are less likely to survive in-hospital cardiac arrest than non-diabetics, reveals research at the Sahlgrenska Academy, ...

Cardiac rehabilitation improves heart rate recovery, boosts survival

September 26, 2011
For the first time, researchers have discovered cardiac rehabilitation can train the heart to quickly return to its normal rate after exercise.

Recommended for you

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk

January 9, 2018
Location. Location. Location.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.