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Abstract: TH-PO1088

Attitude, Motivation, and Barriers to Exercise in Patients with CKD: A Focus Group Study

Session Information

Category: CKD (Non-Dialysis)

  • 1901 CKD (Non-Dialysis): Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Prevention


  • Kendrick, Jessica B., University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, United States
  • Andrews, Emily, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado, United States

Physical activity is remarkably low in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Data suggests that exercise is beneficial for patients with CKD. The adjusted risk of death and end stage renal disease is lower in CKD patients who are physically active compared to those who are inactive. Despite the benefits of exercise in patients with CKD, the majority of patients remain sedentary. The purpose of this formative evaluation was to identify CKD patient attitudes, beliefs and barriers to exercise.


Adult individuals from the Denver Metro area with CKD stage 3 and 4 who were not currently physically active were recruited for 10 focus groups (3 in English speaking males, 3 in English speaking females, 2 in Spanish speaking males and 2 in Spanish speaking females) from May 2016 to December 2016. Focus groups were transcribed verbatim and transcripts were coded and thematically analyzed.


A total of 41 individuals participated in the study. 51.2% were female and 44% were Hispanic. The majority of the participants held a CKD diagnosis for 1-7 years. Participants recognized the benefits of physical activity on both physical and mental health but physical activity was not viewed to have a significant impact on CKD. Social support was a strong motivational factor to physical activity. Social support was preferred from friends, family, or peers with similar health conditions. Spanish speaking participants saw family as a barrier if the family member was not directly participating in physical activity. Additional barriers to physical activity included poor health, fatigue, a fear of worsening their disease and lack of guidance from their nephrologist. Spanish speaking participants in particular expressed frustration with their nephrologist's lack of advice regarding exercise.


Barriers and motivators to physical activity were similar amongst male and female participants with CKD. Lack of advice from nephrologists regarding exercise was a significant barrier. Physical activity interventions in patients with CKD should include not only increased patient self-efficacy and social support but also counseling and prescribing of exercise by nephrologists.


  • Other NIH Support