Developing the Stroke Exercise Preference Inventory (SEPI) Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:Physical inactivity is highly prevalent after stroke, increasing the risk of poor health outcomes including recurrent stroke. Tailoring of exercise programs to individual preferences can improve adherence, but no tools exist for this purpose in stroke. METHODS:We identified potential questionnaire items for establishing exercise preferences via: (i) our preliminary Exercise Preference Questionnaire in stroke, (ii) similar tools used in other conditions, and (iii) expert panel consultations. The resulting 35-item questionnaire (SEPI-35) was administered to stroke survivors, along with measures of disability, depression, anxiety, fatigue and self-reported physical activity. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify a factor structure in exercise preferences, providing a framework for item reduction. Associations between exercise preferences and personal characteristics were analysed using multivariable regression. RESULTS:A group of 134 community-dwelling stroke survivors (mean age 64.0, SD 13.3) participated. Analysis of the SEPI-35 identified 7 exercise preference factors (Supervision-support, Confidence-challenge, Health-wellbeing, Exercise context, Home-alone, Similar others, Music-TV). Item reduction processes yielded a 13-item version (SEPI-13); in analysis of this version, the original factor structure was maintained. Lower scores on Confidence-challenge were significantly associated with disability (p = 0.002), depression (p = 0.001) and fatigue (p = 0.001). Self-reported barriers to exercise were particularly prevalent in those experiencing fatigue and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS:The SEPI-13 is a brief instrument that allows assessment of exercise preferences and barriers in the stroke population. This new tool can be employed by health professionals to inform the development of individually tailored exercise interventions.

publication date

  • 2016