A new measure of exercise adherence: the ATEMPT (Adherence To Exercise for Musculoskeletal Pain Tool)

Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood info

Key Points

  1. Completing the exercises prescribed by physical therapy (i.e. home exercise programs [HEPs]) maximizes the benefits of physical therapy.
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Home Exercise Programs (HEPs) maximize and maintain the benefits of Physical therapy (PT). Completing HEPs can reduce mobility-related medical expenditure by 50% (1). Despite these benefits, 75% of patients do not complete their HEPs, and physical therapists do not regularly assess patient’s completion of HEP (2). One reason it is not regularly assessed is a lack of tools and guidance on how to assess it.

The objectives of this study were to:

  1. Develop a measure of adherence to exercise for musculoskeletal (MSK) pain (Adherence To Exercise for MSK Pain Tool: ATEMPT) based on previously conceptualized domains of exercise adherence.

  2. Report the content and structural validity, internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and measurement error for the ATEMPT outcome measure in patients managed with exercise for MSK pain.

Completing home exercise programs can reduce mobility-related medical expenditure by 50%.
A reduction in ATEMPT scores may reflect reduced exercise adherence which might help to identify patients who may benefit from adherence enhancing strategies, such as goal setting or alternate treatment plans.


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