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Dimitra Nikoletou is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University & St. George’s University of London and an honorary Senior Lecturer at the Infection and Immunity Research Institute at St. George’s University of London. Her research focuses on exercise prescription and rehabilitation in different clinical populations and is currently running an NIHR funded study. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, leads the Pulmonary and Cardiac rehabilitation component of 3 different MSc programmes and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy having trained over 1,000 physiotherapists in the last 13 years. [email protected]


Home-based exercise programmes are used in a variety of clinical conditions as part of comprehensive patient management. Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) is a rehabilitation option that has been used in patients with various respiratory conditions, to improve perception of breathlessness and exercise capacity as well as in athletes to improve performance in competitive sports. However, results from research studies vary in these 2 groups, raising questions about possible differences in motivation and adherence to home-based IMT programmes and the effectiveness of this intervention in respiratory patients as opposed to healthy athletes. This presentation will examine evidence from an exploratory study investigating differences in adherence to a four-week, high intensity, home-based IMT programme in athletes and healthy non-athletes, all of whom were physiotherapy students. It was hypothesized that healthy young volunteers should have no difference in adherence to a short IMT programme at home and their experiences following this programme should be similar. This was a mixed method study, using self-report diaries to monitor adherence and focus groups to explore participants’ experience following a 4 week IMT programme. Secondary outcomes were the maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures (PImax and PEmax respectively), meters rowed in a rowing ergometer in 4 minutes and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) before and after rowing. Adherence is an important factor for any successful rehabilitation programme and results from this study suggest variation even in knowledgeable healthy individuals. Results will be present and discussed in the context of existing literature in this field.

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