Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Henry C. Wessman


Exercise; Patient Compliance


Adherence to discharge home exercise programs has statistically shown poor results. The purpose of this independent study is to review present-day discharge exercise programs for physical therapy, and to offer alternatives for better adherence (or compliance) and effectiveness.

A brief history of physical therapy and exercise programs is reviewed to outline the progression of the two topics. Behavioral contracting is a strategy used by health professionals to improve patient/client adherence to health regimes. The patient/client signs a contract indicating they will follow the guidelines outlined in their discharge exercise program.

Presently, the most optimal discharge exercise program involves specificity of exercise monitored by a fitness professional much as a certified strength and conditioning specialist (C.S.C.S.), along with some form of behavior contracting. More detailed studies are needed to find optimal training programs for specific long-term rehabilitation needs.