Researchers conducted a study in an effort to understand therapist-identified factors influencing clinical adoption of a telehealth walking self-management intervention for individuals with lower-limb amputations.
Semi-structured focus groups were completed with actively practicing physical and occupational therapists treating populations that are medically complex. A qualitative explorative design was employed with conventional content analysis and iterative independent parallel coding using two analysts. Themes and subthemes were generated with a consensus building process identifying patterns and collapsing codes to represent participant perspectives.
Results of the qualitative study showed that thematic saturation was met after five focus groups (24 therapists). Therapists were, on average, 34 years old and predominantly female (n = 19; 79 percent) physical therapists (n = 17; 71percent).
Three primary facilitator and barrier themes were identified for intervention adoption: system, therapist, and person. System considerations included telehealth support and interprofessional care coordination. Therapist facilitators included self-management programming that overlapped with standard of care and personalization methods. However, limited behavioral theory training was a therapist level barrier. Finally, person factors such as patient activation could influence both positively and negatively. Person facilitators included social support and barriers included the complex health condition.
Researchers found that system, therapist, and person facilitators and barriers must be considered to maximize the adoption of similar telehealth walking self-management interventions and prior to larger scale implementation of the current intervention for individuals with lower-limb amputation. A telehealth walking self-management intervention also has potential impact for individuals with lower-limb amputations and must be considered in terms of optimizing system, therapist, and person level facilitators and barriers to implementation.
The study “Telehealth Walking Self-Management for Individuals with Amputation: A Qualitative Study of Therapist Perspectives on Adoption” was published in the journal Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation.