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Reducing barriers to exercise can save women's lives

May 28, 2017

A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners explores the difficulties faced by women in developing a healthy lifestyle to avoid coronary heart disease (CHD) - a leading killer of women in the US. Women have perceived barriers to modifying their risk of CHD. The most commonly cited barriers were related to exercise, including family commitments interfering with exercise, laziness, and lack of self-discipline to exercise regularly. The study also found that women with access to a nurse practitioner had fewer perceived barriers to CHD risk modification, suggesting that these perceived barriers can be reduced or eliminated through effective strategies for health promotion behaviors.

"Traditionally, health care providers have focused their education on the benefits of lifestyle modification and spent little time considering the difficulties women encounter when trying to implement those behavior changes," states lead author of the article, Joanne L. Thanavaro. "Healthcare providers need to recognize how important a woman's perceived barriers to risk factor modification are and use methods to help reduce or eliminate these barriers."

CHD accounts for one half millions deaths each year. The majority of CHD can be prevented or delayed with appropriate lifestyle changes.

This study is published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Joanne Thanavaro, RN, ND, ANP-BC is an Adult Nurse Practitioner in private practice and an Associate Professor of Nursing and Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing and Allied Health.

About the Journal

Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP) is a peer-reviewed professional journal that serves as the official publication of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Published since 1989, the JAANP is designed to serve the needs of nurse practitioners and other health care professionals who have a major interest in primary health care. The JAANP publishes timely original, peer-reviewed articles addressing clinical practice, clinical management, health policy, research, education and other issues affecting nurse practitioners and other primary health care providers.

About Blackwell Publishing

Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

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