Factors influencing adherence to an app-based exercise program in adolescents with painful hyperkyphosis




Zapata, Karina A.
Wang-Price, Sharon
Fletcher, Tina
Johnston, Charles E.

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Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders


BACKGROUND: Software applications (apps) could potentially promote exercise adherence. However, it is unclear whether adolescents with painful hyperkyphosis will use an app designed for a home exercise program. The purpose of this study is to assess factors regarding adherence to an app-based home exercise program in adolescents with hyperkyphosis and back pain who were provided a one-time exercise treatment.

METHODS: Twenty-one participants were instructed in a one-time exercise treatment and asked to complete a home exercise program 3 times a week for 6 months using an app called PT PAL. At a 6-month follow-up, 14 participants completed a survey assessing factors related to their experiences using the app and their treatment engagement.

RESULTS: Although most participants did not use the app, they reported performing their exercises a few times per week. The adolescent participants considered the app to be more of a barrier than a supportive measure for promoting exercise adherence. Most participants still reported bothersome back pain.

CONCLUSIONS: Although adherence to the 6-month app-based home exercise program was not successful, adolescents still viewed technology support such as text reminders as a potential solution.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03212664. Registered 11 July 2017. Retrospectively registered.



Adolescents, Occupational therapy, Exercise adherence


This is the published version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.1186/s13013-018-0159-x. Recommended citation: Zapata, K. A., Wang-Price, S. S., Fletcher, T. S., & Johnston, C. E. (2018). Factors influencing adherence to an app-based exercise program in adolescents with painful hyperkyphosis. Scoliosis and Spinal Disorders, 13(1). This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.