Are grown-ups with congenital heart disease willing to participate in an exercise program?

Manon L. Dontje, Marlies Feenstra, Mathieu de Greef, Wybe Nieuwland, Elke S. Hoendermis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To examine the willingness of grown-ups with congenital heart disease (GUCH) to participate in the GUCH Training Program-Individualised (GTI), an exercise program specifically designed for GUCH, and to identify factors affecting their willingness to participate.
In this cross-sectional study, all outpatient GUCH of the University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands, living within a 30-km radius of Groningen (n = 311), were asked to participate.
In total, 116 (37%) of the 311 GUCH who are invited to participate in our study returned completed questionnaires. The median age of the respondents was 40 (interquartile range 31-50) years and 55% were women.
Respondents (n = 116) completed a questionnaire that queried physical activity, perceived physical fitness, psychosocial determinants (motivation, self-efficacy, and social support) related to physical activity, and willingness to participate in GTI.
Of the 116 respondents, 68 (59%) were willing to participate in GTI. They were less physically active, had worse perceived physical fitness, were less satisfied with their fitness, were generally more motivated to engage in physical activity, and had more social support than patients unwilling to participate. The best logistic regression model predicting willingness to participate in GTI included the variables perceived physical fitness and motivation for physical activity in general.
Asking GUCH to participate in an exercise program supervised by physical therapists is a good strategy. Taken into account nonresponse, a participation rate in the exercise program of over 20% is to be expected. Perceived physical fitness and motivation for physical activity in general are important predictors of patients' willingness to participate
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
JournalCongenital Heart Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • heart diseases
  • exercise
  • fitness
  • motivation


Dive into the research topics of 'Are grown-ups with congenital heart disease willing to participate in an exercise program?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this