‘Function First’: how to promote physical activity and physical function in people with long-term conditions managed in primary care? A study combining realist and co-design methods
Law, Rebecca Jane, Langley, Joseph, Hall, Beth, Burton, Christopher, Hiscock, Julia, Williams, Lynne, Morrison, Val, Lemmey, Andrew, Lovell-Smith, Candida, Gallanders, John, Cooney, Jennifer Kate and Williams, Nefyn 2021. ‘Function First’: how to promote physical activity and physical function in people with long-term conditions managed in primary care? A study combining realist and co-design methods. BMJ Open. 11 (7). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046751
|Authors||Law, Rebecca Jane, Langley, Joseph, Hall, Beth, Burton, Christopher, Hiscock, Julia, Williams, Lynne, Morrison, Val, Lemmey, Andrew, Lovell-Smith, Candida, Gallanders, John, Cooney, Jennifer Kate and Williams, Nefyn|
Objectives To develop a taxonomy of interventions and a programme theory explaining how interventions improve physical activity and function in people with long-term conditions managed in primary care. To co-design a prototype intervention informed by the programme theory.
Design Realist synthesis combining evidence from a wide range of rich and relevant literature with stakeholder views. Resulting context, mechanism and outcome statements informed co-design and knowledge mobilisation workshops with stakeholders to develop a primary care service innovation.
Results A taxonomy was produced, including 13 categories of physical activity interventions for people with long-term conditions.
Abridged realist programme theory Routinely addressing physical activity within consultations is dependent on a reinforcing practice culture, and targeted resources, with better coordination, will generate more opportunities to address low physical activity. The adaptation of physical activity promotion to individual needs and preferences of people with long-term conditions helps affect positive patient behaviour change. Training can improve knowledge, confidence and capability of practice staff to better promote physical activity. Engagement in any physical activity promotion programme will depend on the degree to which it makes sense to patients and professions, and is seen as trustworthy.
Co-design The programme theory informed the co-design of a prototype intervention to: improve physical literacy among practice staff; describe/develop the role of a physical activity advisor who can encourage the use of local opportunities to be more active; and provide materials to support behaviour change.
Conclusions Previous physical activity interventions in primary care have had limited effect. This may be because they have only partially addressed factors emerging in our programme theory. The co-designed prototype intervention aims to address all elements of this emergent theory, but needs further development and consideration alongside current schemes and contexts (including implications relevant to COVID-19), and testing in a future study. The integration of realist and co-design methods strengthened this study.
|Keywords||Physical activity; Function; Long-term conditions; Chronic illness|
|Journal citation||11 (7)|
|Publisher||BMJ Publishing Group|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046751|
|Online||27 Jul 2021|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||13 May 2021|
|Deposited||09 Aug 2021|
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