Content » Vol 49, Issue 5

Special report

Professionals’ perceptions of factors affecting implementation and continuation of a physical activity promotion programme in rehabilitation: A qualitative study

Femke Hoekstra, Florentina J. Hettinga, Marjolein den Breejen, Marjo Duijf, Lucas H.V. van der Woude, Rienk Dekker, Cees P. van der Schans
Centre for Human Movement Sciences, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, NL-9700 AD Groningen, The Netherlands. E-mail: f.hoekstra@umcg.nl
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2220

Abstract

Objective: To describe professionals’ perceptions of factors that facilitate or hamper the implementation and continuation of a physical activity promotion programme in rehabilitation.
Design: This study used a qualitative design.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews (n = 22) were conducted with rehabilitation professionals (n = 28) involved in the implementation of a physical activity promotion programme. Two additional interviews were conducted with the programme coordinators (n = 2). The study involved 18 rehabilitation organizations implementing the programme that targets people with disabilities or chronic diseases. Organizations were supported in the implementation process by the programme coordinators.
Results: Commonly perceived facilitating factors were: involvement of committed and enthusiastic professionals; agreement with their organizations’ vision/wishes; the perceived additional value of the programme; and opportunities to share knowledge and experience with professionals from other organizations. Commonly perceived hampering factors were: uncertainty about continuing the programme; limited flexibility; and lack of support from physicians and therapists to implement the programme.
Conclusion: Professionals perceived a heterogeneous set of factors that facilitate and/or hamper the implementation and continuation of a physical activity promotion programme in rehabilitation. Based on these findings, recommendations were formulated to enhance embedding of physical activity promotion during and after rehabilitation.

Lay Abstract

The implementation of a new program in rehabilitation practice is not easy. In this study we interviewed rehabilitation professionals about their experiences with the implementation of a physical activity promotion program. This program aims to promote an active lifestyle in people with disabilities or chronic diseases during and after rehabilitation. During the implementation process, professionals perceived many different facilitators and barriers. Examples of commonly mentioned facilitators are: involvement of enthusiastic professionals, the agreement with organization’s vision, and the additional value of the program. Examples of commonly mentioned barriers are: the uncertainly about the continuation of the program, limited flexibility, and the lack of support from physicians and therapists to implement the program. We formulated recommendations that may help rehabilitation professionals to integrate physical activity promotion activities in rehabilitation practice in a sustainable way.

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