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Exploring experiences of physical activity among people with Alzheimer's disease and their spouse carers: a qualitative study

Abstract

Objectives

To improve understanding about the barriers and facilitators to physical activity for people with Alzheimer's disease and their spouse carers, and to consider the development of activity interventions that would be acceptable, sustainable and feasible for both groups.

Design

A qualitative approach, using semi-structured interviews, facilitated exploration of physical activity in a small group of people with Alzheimer's disease and their spouse carers.

Setting

Participants were recruited from one memory clinic in South West England.

Participants

Potential participants were identified by clinical psychologists at the memory clinic and were given information about participating in the research. Five people with Alzheimer's disease and their spouse carers were subsequently recruited for semi-structured interviews, which took place at the memory clinic. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim.

Main outcome measures

Qualitative data were analysed using thematic analysis. Three major themes have been presented.

Results

The findings illustrate the complex interplay between the overarching themes ‘self’, ‘others’ and ‘couple’ that affect physical activity for both people with Alzheimer's disease and their spouse carers, and which are linked to the progression of dementia.

Conclusions

An individually tailored approach for couples, which values the role of the carer and accounts for the progressive and changing nature of dementia, should be a guiding principle for intervention design.

Cite this article

Exploring experiences of physical activity among people with Alzheimer's disease and their spouse carers: a qualitative study; Physiotherapy - June 2014 (Vol. 100, Issue 2, Pages 169-175, DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2013.10.002)

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