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Feasibility of a physical activity pathway for Irish primary care physiotherapy services

Abstract

Objectives

To establish consensus on a physical activity pathway suitable for use by physiotherapists in Irish primary care. The physical activity pathway “Let's Get Moving” was examined to agree recruitment criteria and seek consensus on component parts.

Design

Modified Delphi approach which attempts to achieve a convergence of opinion, over a series of iterations. Three rounds of questionnaires were used.

Setting

Primary care.

Participants

41 senior physiotherapists working in primary care for a median of 6 years (IQR 3.7 to 8.5).

Main outcome measures

Statements achieving consensus; defined as at least 70% of participants scoring a 6 or a 7, indicating high agreement, on a 7 point Likert scale.

Results

The response rate was 98%. There was a high degree of consensus for many components of the pathway. Participants agreed that all patients attending physiotherapy should be eligible for recruitment onto the pathway as well as accepting referrals from other health professionals and direct access from the public. Private physiotherapists highlighted concerns about recruiting fee paying patients onto the pathway. The pathway should be integrated into other preventative and chronic disease programmes in primary care. Modifications to the original pathway included the use of a pedometer in addition to the General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire. Training needs in physical activity screening and motivational interviewing, as well as additional staffing were identified to support implementation.

Conclusions

The Physical Activity Pathway “Let's Get Moving” was accepted as a clinically feasible resource to primary care physiotherapists with some modifications and with the support of additional resources.

Cite this article

Feasibility of a physical activity pathway for Irish primary care physiotherapy services, Barrett, Emer M. et al.

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