Background: Adherence to exercise interventions is the cornerstone of a successful rehabilitation program. However, there is limited evidence on multifaceted components of exercise adherence. Therefore, we aimed to summarize the existing literature on measurement, determinants, barriers, theoretical frameworks, and evidence-based interventions that support exercise adherence. Methods: We conducted a scoping review based on the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews guidelines and searched the literature in PubMed, Cochrane Databases of Systematic Reviews, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science. Two reviewers independently screened articles. The included articles were subjected to data extraction and qualitative synthesis. Results: A total of 72 articles were included for this review. Data synthesis showed that there are no gold standard methods of measuring exercise adherence; however, questionnaires and daily logs are commonly used tools. The determinants of adherence are personal, disease-related, therapy-related, provider-related, and health system-related. The common barriers to adherence are the absence of a caregiver, low health literacy, poor communication by healthcare providers, cost, and lack of access to health facilities. Few evidence-based interventions used for supporting adherence are behavioral strategies, improving self-efficacy, motivational therapy, and mHealth or multimedia. Conclusion: Non-adherence to exercises is a challenge for healthcare providers. There are no standard guidelines for the evaluation and management of non-adherence to exercises. Future studies should aim at developing objective measures of exercise adherence and investigate the long-term effects of adherence strategies in different disease populations. It is an under-researched area and requires multipronged strategies to improve adherence levels among patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Publication statusPublished - 01-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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