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Designed to Move: Increasing Physical Activity Promotion by Physical Therapists


Lead Researcher

Challenge Statement

How might we design a toolkit that improves physical therapists' use of physical activity (PA) promotion, that can be easily implemented by different clinics around the US?

  1. Brought together physical activity experts from 3 continents to develop research goals which were to: (1) determine current PA promotion practices, (2) determine what factors influence physical therapists use of PA promotion, and (3) design implementation strategies needed to increase physical therapists' use of PA promotion

  2. Conducted mixed-methods systematic literature review and used random effects model to provide quantitative summary estimates by national segments to inform what factors influence physical therapists use of PA promotion.

  3. Designed a survey grounded in theories of behavior change and process improvement and distributed it to 25,000 physical therapists across the US to determine current PA promotion practices.

  4. Recruited and moderated 26 1-1 interviews regarding factors influencing the decision to promote PA with 2 segments of physical therapists - high PA promoters and low PA promoters.

  5. Brought together a cross-functional team of experts in behavioral science, statistics, and healthcare administration to design implementation strategies and develop a physical activity promotion toolkit, for use by physical therapy clinics


The final implementation strategies and toolkit are thoroughly grounded in behavioral science theories and are offer flexibility to implement in a wide variety of clinics in the US and globally.



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