A Tailored Exposure Intervention Targeting Exercise Anxiety and Avoidance in Cardiac Rehabilitation (1 R01 AG070136-01A1: PI Farris)

mindy k

Individuals in cardiac rehabilitation may experience normal sensations during physical activity (e.g., increased heart rate, shortness of breath) and experience anxiety about what these sensations mean (e.g., “Am I having a heart attack?”). This “exercise anxiety” can interfere with exercise participation, a critical component of their medical treatment. We developed an intervention to target exercise anxiety: Behavioral Exposure For Interoceptive Tolerance (BE-FIT). We will test BE-FIT, compared to a control group, for 146 adults enrolled in cardiac rehabilitation at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to evaluate whether BE-FIT produces reductions in exercise anxiety and greater participation in physical activity.