“Standing out like a sore thumb”: exploring socio-cultural influences on adherence to cardiac rehabilitation

Qualititave Research in Sport, Exercise and Health 16 (2024)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Exercise-based rehabilitation forms a key part of the UK National Health Service patient-care pathway for cardiac rehabilitation (CR). Only around half of all eligible patients attend core CR, however, with social inequalities affecting participation. Few qualitative studies have explored in-depth the key factors influencing engagement with CR, specifically from a sociological theoretical, and ethnographic perspective. Utilising an ethnographic approach allowed us to get a sense of the embodied experiences of 10 participants attending or declining core CR, together with a further seven family members/significant others. This provided in-depth appreciation of participants’ lifeworld contexts as key influences on CR participation. The article draws on these qualitative data and focuses on 1) participants’ initial thoughts about CR; and 2) navigating the field of CR, analysed via thematic analysis. We utilise a Bourdieusian theoretical perspective to theorise the findings, including salient socio-cultural factors influencing attendance/non-attendance and (non)adherence. The article findings highlight how perceptions of CR and the ability to navigate the field are strongly influenced by habitus and capital, and how personal biographies and socio-material conditions affect adherence to CR programmes. The study provides original insights into embodied experiences of exercise-based CR, and novel understandings of the reasons for drop-out/poor adherence, theorised from a Bourdieusian perspective.

Author's Profile


Added to PP

84 (#89,582)

6 months
84 (#54,208)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?