Barriers to and facilitators of everyday physical activity in persons with a spinal cord injury after discharge from the rehabilitation centre
Maaike Vissers, Rita van den Berg-Emons, Tebbe Sluis, Michael Bergen, Henk Stam, Hans Bussmann
Objective: To determine the most important barriers to and facilitators of the level of everyday physical activity in persons with a spinal cord injury after discharge from the rehabilitation centre.
Design: Qualitative study with both cross-sectional and retrospective questions.
Subjects: Thirty-two persons with a spinal cord injury.
Methods: Semi-structured interview with questions concerning the current situation (>9 months after discharge) and retrospective questions concerning the period shortly after discharge (=3 months). The interview consisted of 10 topic categories assumed to have an impact on the level of everyday physical activity and covering the main parts of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model.
Results: In the current situation, the most important barriers were problems with accessibility of stores and buildings, physical health problems and mental health problems. Shortly after discharge, the most important barriers were emotional distress, problems with self-care, and mental health problems. The most frequently mentioned facilitators were preparation in the rehabilitation centre with respect to daily activities and social activities and stimulation to be physically active.
Conclusion: Persons with a spinal cord injury experience important barriers to physical activity, particularly on the ICF component Body Functions and Structure.
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