Challenging assumptions underlying physical activity promotion for health care professionals in Australia: A data-prompted interview study

Dominika Kwasnicka, Sebastian Potthoff, Martin S. Hagger, Corneel Vandelanotte, Amanda Rebar, Camille E. Short, Dawn Crook, Benjamin Gardner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Issue Addressed
Interventions targeting health care professionals' behaviours are assumed to support them in learning how to give behavioural advice to patients, but such assumptions are rarely examined. This study investigated whether key assumptions were held regarding the design and delivery of physical activity interventions among health care professionals in applied health care settings. This study was part of the ‘Physical Activity Tailored intervention in Hospital Staff’ randomised controlled trial of three variants of a web-based intervention.

We used data-prompted interviews to explore whether the interventions were delivered and operated as intended in health care professionals working in four hospitals in Western Australia (N = 25). Data were analysed using codebook thematic analysis.

Five themes were constructed: (1) health care professionals' perceived role in changing patients' health behaviours; (2) work-related barriers to physical activity intervention adherence; (3) health care professionals' use of behaviour change techniques; (4) contamination between groups; and (5) perceptions of intervention tailoring.

The intervention was not experienced by participants, nor did they implement the intervention guidance, in the way we expected. For example, not all health care professionals felt responsible for providing behaviour change advice, time and shift constraints were key barriers to intervention participation, and contamination effects were difficult to avoid.

So What?
Our study challenges assumptions about how health care professionals respond to behaviour change advice and possible knock-on benefits for patients. Applying our learnings may improve the implementation of health promotion interventions in health care settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-550
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Early online date3 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

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