Research Items (18)
Background: A growing emphasis is being placed on the role of health promotion in tackling chronic conditions faced by the health services. This research study sought to explore the health promotion knowledge, attitudes and practices of chartered physiotherapists in Ireland, as it has been suggested that physiotherapists are particularly well positioned to engage in health promotion strategies in the 21st century. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used with data collected via an online self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire link was emailed to 2753 registered members of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists on two occasions. 526 completed surveys were returned giving a response rate of 19.1%. Data was analysed using PASW Statistics 18. Results: Physiotherapists hold a traditional view of health promotion relating it primarily to the provision of information and advice to bring about individual behaviour change. Self reported knowledge of the wider determinants of health and key action areas of health promotion was found to be low. Physiotherapists displayed positive attitudes to their role in health promotion but identified significant barriers to the implementation of health promotion in the form of time constraints, lack of health promotion training and patient attitudes. Conclusions: The responsibility for the uptake of successful health promotion action is with both the professions of health promotion and of physiotherapy to ensure that clarity in both roles and terminology is established. Pre- and post-registration education should be reviewed to ensure the incorporation of health promotion as a complex intervention into physiotherapy education in Ireland.
Background There is a need for theory-driven studies that explore the underlying mechanisms of change of complex weight loss programmes. Such studies will contribute to the existing evidence-base on how these programmes work and thus inform the future development and evaluation of tailored, effective interventions to tackle overweight and obesity. This study explored the mechanisms by which a novel weight loss programme triggered change amongst participants. The programme, delivered by a third sector organisation, addressed both diet and physical activity. Over a 26 week period participants engaged in three weekly sessions (education and exercise in a large group, exercise in a small group and a one-to-one education and exercise session). Novel aspects included the intensity and duration of the programme, a competitive selection process, milestone physical challenges (e.g. working up to a 5 K and 10 K walk/run during the programme), alumni support (face-to-face and online) and family attendance at exercise sessions. Methods Data were collected through interviews with programme providers (n = 2) and focus groups with participants (n = 12). Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using NVivo10. Published behaviour change frameworks and behaviour change technique taxonomies were used to guide the coding process. ResultsClients’ interactions with components of the weight loss programme brought about a change in their commitment, knowledge, beliefs about capabilities and social and environmental contexts. Intervention components that generated these changes included the competitive selection process, group and online support, family involvement and overcoming milestone challenges over the 26 week programme. The mechanisms by which these components triggered change differed between participants. Conclusions There is an urgent need to establish robust interventions that can support people who are overweight and obese to achieve a healthy weight and maintain this change. Third sector organisations may be a feasible alternative to private and public sector weight loss programmes. We have presented findings from one example of a novel community-based weight loss programme and identified how the programme components resulted in change amongst the participants. Further research is needed to robustly test the effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, of this programme.
Background: Repetitive task training (RTT) involves the active practice of task-specific motor activities and is a component of current therapy approaches in stroke rehabilitation. Objectives: Primary objective: To determine if RTT improves upper limb function/reach and lower limb function/balance in adults after stroke. Secondary objectives: 1) To determine the effect of RTT on secondary outcome measures including activities of daily living, global motor function, quality of life/health status and adverse events. 2) To determine the factors that could influence primary and secondary outcome measures, including the effect of 'dose' of task practice; type of task (whole therapy, mixed or single task); timing of the intervention and type of intervention. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (4 March 2016); the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (the Cochrane Library 2016, Issue 5: 1 October 2006 to 24 June 2016); MEDLINE (1 October 2006 to 8 March 2016); Embase (1 October 2006 to 8 March 2016); CINAHL (2006 to 23 June 2016); AMED (2006 to 21 June 2016) and SPORTSDiscus (2006 to 21 June 2016). Selection criteria: Randomised/quasi-randomised trials in adults after stroke, where the intervention was an active motor sequence performed repetitively within a single training session, aimed towards a clear functional goal. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently screened abstracts, extracted data and appraised trials. We determined the quality of evidence within each study and outcome group using the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool and GRADE (Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) criteria. We did not assess follow-up outcome data using GRADE. We contacted trial authors for additional information. Main results: We included 33 trials with 36 intervention-control pairs and 1853 participants. The risk of bias present in many studies was unclear due to poor reporting; the evidence has therefore been rated 'moderate' or 'low' when using the GRADE system. There is low-quality evidence that RTT improves arm function (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01 to 0.49; 11 studies, number of participants analysed = 749), hand function (SMD 0.25, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.51; eight studies, number of participants analysed = 619), and lower limb functional measures (SMD 0.29, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.48; five trials, number of participants analysed = 419). There is moderate-quality evidence that RTT improves walking distance (mean difference (MD) 34.80, 95% CI 18.19 to 51.41; nine studies, number of participants analysed = 610) and functional ambulation (SMD 0.35, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.66; eight studies, number of participants analysed = 525). We found significant differences between groups for both upper-limb (SMD 0.92, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.26; three studies, number of participants analysed = 153) and lower-limb (SMD 0.34, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.52; eight studies, number of participants analysed = 471) outcomes up to six months post treatment but not after six months. Effects were not modified by intervention type, dosage of task practice or time since stroke for upper or lower limb. There was insufficient evidence to be certain about the risk of adverse events. Authors' conclusions: There is low- to moderate-quality evidence that RTT improves upper and lower limb function; improvements were sustained up to six months post treatment. Further research should focus on the type and amount of training, including ways of measuring the number of repetitions actually performed by participants. The definition of RTT will need revisiting prior to further updates of this review in order to ensure it remains clinically meaningful and distinguishable from other interventions.
Two thirds of survivors will achieve independent ambulation after a stroke, but less than half will recover upper limb function. There is strong evidence to support intensive repetitive task-oriented training for recovery after stroke. The number of repetitions needed is suggested to be in the order of hundreds, but this is not currently being achieved in clinical practice. In an effort to bridge this evidence-practice gap, we have developed a behaviour change intervention that aims to increase provision of upper limb repetitive task-oriented training in stroke rehabilitation. This paper aims to describe the systematic processes that took place in collaboratively developing the behaviour change intervention. The methods used in this study were not defined a priori but were guided by the Behaviour Change Wheel. The process was collaborative and iterative with four stages of development emerging (i) establishing an intervention development group; (ii) structured discussions to understand the problem, prioritise target behaviours and analyse target behaviours; (iii) collaborative design of theoretically underpinned intervention components and (iv) piloting and refining of intervention components. The intervention development group consisted of the research team and stroke therapy team at a local stroke rehabilitation unit. The group prioritised four target behaviours at the therapist level: (i) identifying suitable patients for exercises, (ii) provision of exercises, (iii) communicating exercises to family/visitors and (iv) monitoring and reviewing exercises. It also provides a method for self-monitoring performance in order to measure fidelity. The developed intervention, PRACTISE (Promoting Recovery of the Arm: Clinical Tools for Intensive Stroke Exercise), consists of team meetings and the PRACTISE Toolkit (screening tool and upper limb exercise plan, PRACTISE exercise pack and an audit tool). This paper provides an example of how the Behaviour Change Wheel may be applied in the collaborative development of a behaviour change intervention for health professionals. The process involved was resource-intensive, and the iterative process was difficult to capture. The use of a published behaviour change framework and taxonomy will assist replication in future research and clinical use. The feasibility and acceptability of PRACTISE is currently being explored in two other stroke rehabilitation units.
Abstract Background Somatosensory ability is commonly impaired after stroke. Despite the growing recognition for the need to understand service users’ experiences and perspectives in health services provision, the experiences of stroke survivors’ living with somatosensory impairment have yet to be reported. Objective To gain an insight into how stroke survivors experience somatosensory impairment after stroke. Design A qualitative study design was used with data analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Methods Semi-structured in-depth interviews were carried out with purposively selected community dwelling stroke survivors who had somatosensory impairment. Results Five stroke survivors were interviewed in this study. Data analysis resulted in the emergence of three superordinate themes (i) making sense of somatosensory impairment, (ii) interplay of somatosensory impairment and motor control for executing tasks and (iii) perseverance versus learned non-use. The stroke survivors in this study were aware that their somatosensory ability was affected as a result of their stroke, but had difficulty in articulating their experiences of sensation and the impact of the impairment on functional ability. Most often somatosensory impairment was described in terms of difficulties with executing specific tasks, particularly by the upper limb. Conclusion It is important to be aware that somatosensory impairment is of concern to stroke survivors. Further research is needed to develop evidence-based and practice-appropriate clinical assessment tools and treatment strategies for somatosensory rehabilitation after stroke.
Background: Harms related to gambling have been found not only to affect problem gamblers, but also to occur amongst low- and moderate-risk gamblers. This has resulted in calls for a public health approach to address a possible ‘prevention paradox’ in gambling related harm. The aim of this study was to evaluate the systematic review evidence base on the effects of prevention and harm reduction interventions on gambling behaviours, and gambling related harm. We also aimed to examine differential effects of interventions across socio-demographic groups. Methods: Systematic methods were used to locate and evaluate published systematic reviews of prevention and harm reduction interventions. We designed the review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Equity extension Guidelines. Four databases were searched from their start date until May 2018. The quality of the included articles was determined using A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR 2). Results: Ten systematic reviews were identified reporting 55 unique relevant primary studies. Much of the review evidence-base related to pre-commitment and limit setting (24%), self-exclusion (20%), youth prevention programmes (20%), and machine messages/feedback (20%). The effectiveness of harm reduction interventions are limited by the extent to which users adhere to voluntary systems. Less than half of studies examining youth prevention programmes demonstrated positive effects on behaviour. No review extracted data or reported on the differential effects of intervention strategies across sociodemographic groups. The quality of the included reviews (and their primary studies) were generally poor and clear gaps in the evidence base have been highlighted. Conclusions: The evidence base is dominated by evaluations of individual-level harm reduction interventions, with a paucity of research on supply reduction interventions. Review conclusions are limited by the quality and robustness of the primary research. Future research should consider the equity effects of intervention strategies.
- Aug 2018
Objective: To develop a theory-led framework to inform reviewers' understanding of what, how and why healthcare interventions may lead to differential effects across socio-economic groups. Study design and setting: A meta-framework approach combined two theoretical perspectives (socio-economic health inequalities and complex interventions) into a single framework to inform socio-economic health inequality considerations in systematic reviews. Results: Four theories relating to complexity within systematic reviews and 16 health inequalities intervention theories informed the development of a meta-framework. Factors relating to the type of intervention, implementation, context, participant response and mechanisms associated with differential effects across socio-economic groups were identified. The meta-framework can inform; reviewer discussions around how socio-economic status can moderate intervention effectiveness during question formulation, approaches to data extraction and help identify a priori analysis considerations. Conclusion: The meta-framework offers a transparent, practical, theory-led approach to inform a programme theory for what, how and why interventions work for different socio-economic status groups in systematic reviews. It can enhance existing guidance on conducting systematic reviews that consider health inequalities, increase awareness of how socio-economic status can moderate intervention effectiveness and encourage a greater engagement with theory throughout the review process.
Background: Systematic review guidance recommends the use of programme theory to inform considerations of if and how healthcare interventions may work differently across socio-economic status (SES) groups. This study aimed to address the lack of detail on how reviewers operationalise this in practice. Methods: A methodological systematic review was undertaken to assess if, how and the extent to which systematic reviewers operationalise the guidance on the use of programme theory in considerations of socio-economic inequalities in health. Multiple databases were searched from January 2013 to May 2016. Studies were included if they were systematic reviews assessing the effectiveness of an intervention and included data on SES. Two reviewers independently screened all studies, undertook quality assessment and extracted data. A narrative approach to synthesis was adopted. Results: A total of 37 systematic reviews were included, 10 of which were explicit in the use of terminology for 'programme theory'. Twenty-nine studies used programme theory to inform both their a priori assumptions and explain their review findings. Of these, 22 incorporated considerations of both what and how interventions do/do not work in SES groups to both predict and explain their review findings. Thirteen studies acknowledged 24 unique theoretical references to support their assumptions of what or how interventions may have different effects in SES groups. Most reviewers used supplementary evidence to support their considerations of differential effectiveness. The majority of authors outlined a programme theory in the "Introduction" and "Discussion" sections of the review to inform their assumptions or provide explanations of what or how interventions may result in differential effects within or across SES groups. About a third of reviews used programme theory to inform the review analysis and/or synthesis. Few authors used programme theory to inform their inclusion criteria, data extraction or quality assessment. Twenty-one studies tested their a priori programme theory. Conclusions: The use of programme theory to inform considerations of if, what and how interventions lead to differential effects on health in different SES groups in the systematic review process is not yet widely adopted, is used implicitly, is often fragmented and is not implemented in a systematic way.
Background: Despite best evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of increased intensity of exercise after stroke, current levels of therapy continue to be below those required to optimise motor recovery. We developed and tested an implementation intervention that aims to increase arm exercise in stroke rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to illustrate the use of a behaviour change framework, the Behaviour Change Wheel, to identify the mechanisms of action that explain how the intervention produced change. Methods: We implemented the intervention at three stroke rehabilitation units in the United Kingdom. A purposive sample of therapy team members were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews to explore their perceptions of how the intervention produced change at their work place. Audio recordings were transcribed and imported into NVivo 10 for content analysis. Two coders separately analysed the transcripts and coded emergent mechanisms. Mechanisms were categorised using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) (an extension of the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation and Behaviour model (COM-B) at the hub of the Behaviour Change Wheel). Results: We identified five main mechanisms of action: 'social/professional role and identity', 'intentions', 'reinforcement', 'behavioural regulation' and 'beliefs about consequences'. At the outset, participants viewed the research team as an external influence for whom they endeavoured to complete the study activities. The study design, with a focus on implementation in real world settings, influenced participants' intentions to implement the intervention components. Monthly meetings between the research and therapy teams were central to the intervention and acted as prompt or reminder to sustain implementation. The phased approach to introducing and implementing intervention components influenced participants' beliefs about the feasibility of implementation. Conclusions: The Behaviour Change Wheel, and in particular the Theoretical Domains Framework, were used to investigate mechanisms of action of an implementation intervention. This approach allowed for consideration of a range of possible mechanisms, and allowed us to categorise these mechanisms using an established behaviour change framework. Identification of the mechanisms of action, following testing of the intervention in a number of settings, has resulted in a refined and more robust intervention programme theory for future testing.
Background and purpose: Current approaches to upper limb rehabilitation are not sufficient to drive neural reorganisation and maximise recovery after stroke. To address this evidence-practice gap we developed a knowledge translation intervention using the Behaviour Change Wheel. The intervention involves collaborative working with stroke therapy teams to change their practice, and increase therapy intensity by therapists prescribing supplementary self-directed arm exercise. The purposes of this case series are: (1) to provide an illustrative example of how a research-informed process changed clinical practice and (2) to report on staff and patients' perceptions of the utility of the developed intervention. Case descriptions: A participatory action research approach was used in three stroke rehabilitation units in the United Kingdom. The intervention aimed to change four therapist level behaviours: (i) screening patients for suitability for supplementary self-directed arm exercise, (ii) provision of exercises, (iii) involving family/carers in assisting with exercises and (iv) monitoring and progressing exercises. Data on changes in practice were collected by therapy teams using a bespoke audit tool. Utility of the intervention was explored in qualitative interviews with patients and staff. Outcomes: Components of the intervention were successfully embedded in two of the three stroke units. At these sites almost all admitted patients were screened for suitability for supplementary self-directed exercise. 77%, 70% and 88% of suitable patients across the three sites were provided exercises. Involving family/carers, and monitoring and progressing exercises, were not performed consistently. Conclusions: This study is an example of how a rigorous research-informed knowledge translation process resulted in practice change. Further research is needed to demonstrate that these changes can translate into increased intensity of upper limb exercise and affect patient outcomes.
Objective: To review a sample of cluster randomised controlled trials and explore the quality of reporting of (1) enabling or support activities provided to the staff during the trial, (2) strategies used to monitor fidelity throughout the trial and (3) the extent to which the intervention being tested was delivered as planned. Design: A descriptive review. Data sources and study selection: We searched MEDLINE for trial reports published between 2008 and 2014 with combinations of the search terms 'randomised', 'cluster', 'trial', 'study', 'intervention' and 'implement*'. We included trials in which healthcare professionals (HCPs) implemented the intervention being tested as part of routine practice. We excluded trials (1) conducted in non-health services settings, (2) where the intervention explicitly aimed to change the behaviours of the HCPs and (3) where the trials were ongoing or for which only trial protocols were available. Data collection: We developed a data extraction form using the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR checklist). Review authors independently extracted data from the included trials and assessed quality of reporting for individual items. Results: We included 70 publications (45 results publications, 25 related publications). 89% of trials reported using enabling or support activities. How these activities were provided (75.6%, n=34) and how much was provided (73.3%, n=33) were the most frequently reported items. Less than 20% (n=8) of the included trials reported that competency checking occurred prior to implementation and data collection. 64% (n=29) of trials reported collecting measures of implementation. 44% (n=20) of trials reported data from these measures. Conclusions: Although enabling and support activities are reported in trials, important gaps exist when assessed using an established checklist. Better reporting of the supports provided in effectiveness trials will allow for informed decisions to be made about financial and resource implications for wide scale implementation of effective interventions.
Background The Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP) is a hand and arm exercise programme designed to increase the intensity of exercise achieved in inpatient stroke rehabilitation. GRASP was shown to be effective in a randomised controlled trial in 2009 and has since experienced unusually rapid uptake into clinical practice. The aim of this study was to conduct a formative evaluation of the implementation of GRASP to inform the development and implementation of a similar intervention in the United Kingdom.Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with therapists who were involved in implementing GRASP at their work site, or who had experience of using GRASP. Normalisation Process Theory (NPT), a sociological theory used to explore the processes of embedding innovations in practice, was used to develop an interview guide. Intervention components outlined within the GRASP Guideline Manual were used to develop prompts to explore how therapists use GRASP in practice. Interview transcripts were analysed using a coding frame based on implementation theory.ResultsTwenty interviews were conducted across eight sites in British Columbia Canada. Therapists identified informal networks and the free online availability of GRASP as key factors in finding out about the intervention. All therapists reported positive opinions about the value of GRASP. At all sites, therapists identified individuals who advocated for the use of GRASP, and in six of the eight sites this was the practice leader or senior therapist. Rehabilitation assistants were identified as instrumental in delivering GRASP in almost all sites as they were responsible for organising the GRASP equipment and assisting patients using GRASP. Almost all intervention components were found to be adapted to some degree when used in clinical practice; coverage was wider, the content adapted, and the dose, when monitored, was less.Conclusions Although GRASP has translated into clinical practice, it is not always used in the way in which it was shown to be effective. This formative evaluation has informed the development of a novel intervention which aims to bridge this evidence-practice gap in upper limb rehabilitation after stroke.
- Jun 2014
Objectives: To use 3 measures of intensity—time, observed repetitions, and wrist accelerometer activity counts—to describe the intensity of exercise carried out when completing a structured upper limb exercise program, and to explore whether a relationship exists between wrist accelerometer activity counts and observed repetitions. Design: Observational study design. Setting: Rehabilitation center research laboratory. Participants: Community-dwelling stroke survivors (N=13) with upper limb hemiparesis. Intervention: Not applicable. Main outcome measures: Time engaged in exercise, total repetitions, and accelerometer activity counts for the affected upper limb. Results: Mean session time ± SD was 48.5±7.8 minutes. Participants were observed to be engaged in exercises for 63.8%±7.5% of the total session time. The median number of observed repetitions per session was 340 (interquartile range [IQR], 199-407), of which 251 (IQR, 80-309) were purposeful repetitions. Wrist accelerometers showed the stroke survivors' upper limbs to be moving for 75.7%±15.9% of the total session time. Purposeful repetitions and activity counts were found to be significantly correlated (ρ=.627, P<.05). Conclusions: Stroke survivors were not actively engaged in exercises for approximately one third of each exercise session. Overall session time may not be the most accurate measure of intensity. Counting repetitions was feasible when using a structured exercise program and provides a clinically meaningful way of monitoring intensity and progression. Wrist accelerometers provided an objective measure for how much the arm moves, which correlated with purposeful repetitions. Further research using repetitions and accelerometers as measures of intensity is warranted.
- Apr 2014
- World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation
Exploring implementation fidelity of an evidence-based stroke rehabilitation intervention: A qualitative interview study
Only a small percentage of research is ever successfully translated into practice. The Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP) is a stroke rehabilitation intervention that has anecdotally had rapid translation from research to clinical practice. This study will explore the characteristics of this practice implementation. To explore the extent of practice implementation of GRASP in the United Kingdom (UK) and, using an implementation framework, explore the opinions of UK physical therapists and occupational therapists towards implementing the program. A cross-sectional study design was used. Data was collected via an online questionnaire. Participants in this study were members of the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section Neurological Practice and the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology. Of the 274 therapists who responded to this survey, 61 (22.3%) had experience of using GRASP, 114 (41.6%) knew of GRASP but had never used it and 99 (36.1%) had never heard of GRASP. Therapists displayed positive opinions towards the implementation of a manual with graded progressions of structured upper limb exercises for people after stroke. Opinions were different between therapists that had used GRASP and those who had not. The findings in this study may be limited by response bias. GRASP is a relatively new stroke rehabilitation intervention which has made impressive translation into the knowledge and practice of UK therapists. Therapists' opinions would suggest that GRASP is both an acceptable and feasible intervention and has the potential to be implemented by a greater number of therapists in a range of settings.
Objective: To investigate the current practice of physiotherapists and occupational therapists in prescribing upper limb exercises to people after stroke and to explore differences between professions and work settings. Design: A cross-sectional survey design. Participants: Occupational therapists and physiotherapists working in UK stroke rehabilitation. Results: The survey's response rate was 21.0% (n = 322); with 295 valid responses. Almost two thirds of therapists (64.7%, n = 191) agreed that they always prescribe upper limb exercises to a person with stroke if they can actively elevate their scapula and have grade 1 finger/wrist extension. Most therapists (98.6%, n = 278) prescribed exercises to be completed outside of therapy time, with exercises verbally communicated to family. Standardised upper limb specific outcome measures were used to evaluate the prescribed exercises by 21.9% (n = 62) OF THERAPISTS. DIFFERENCES WERE FOUND BETWEEN PROFESSIONS AND ACROSS WORK SETTINGS. Conclusion: The majority of prescribed upper limb exercises were of low intensity (range of motion or stretching exercises) rather than repetitive practice or strengthening exercises. The use of standardised outcome measures was low. Progression of exercises and the provision of written instructions on discharge occur less frequently in inpatient settings than outpatient and community settings.