To explore barriers to exercise of patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA) and to propose facilitators.
Analysis of the speech of focus groups. It included the identification the elements that shape the studied reality, description of the relationship between them and synthesis through: 1) Thematic segmentation, 2) Categorization according to situations, relationships, opinions, feelings or others, 3) Coding of the various categories and 4) Interpretation of results.
Two focus groups of one hour each with 11 patients recruited from associations and social networks in Madrid and surrounding provinces took place (64% men, 72% between 40 and 60 years, 57% with disease duration longer than 10 years, 80% performed some type of exercise or physical activity). The following were identified: 1) barriers to exercise, among which the following pointed out: disinformation, fear, pain, distrust, and prior negative experiences with exercise; 2) facilitators to exercise: the complementary to barriers plus regularity and social and professional support; 3) items that could influence in either way, negative or positively; and 4) four phases of coping with exercise or physical activity in SpA.
Apart from recognizing the existence of some modifiable personal factors, patients generally demand: more knowledge and education on exercise, including the pros and cons in the context of their disease, and coherence of messages received, together with better monitors that accompany them in their coping with disease and exercise.