- Restrictions on Access:
- Open Access.
- Purpose: Physical therapists are often important figures in the lives of people with physical disabilities and therefore possess the ability to impact physical activity in this population. However, little is known about how physical therapists promote physical activity in their relationships with people with physical disabilities, and there is a particular gap regarding how they leverage community based sports and recreation programs when doing so. I used qualitative methods to explore physical therapy experiences for individuals with disabilities as well as physical therapists, with a focus on strategies used by physical therapists to foster motivation to be physically active and the extent that community-based resources were leveraged in this process. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were completed with 8 physical therapists and 7 individuals with a physical disability. Applying a critical realist framework, I employed phone interviews and thematic narrative analysis to identify key themes within participant responses. Results and Discussion: Therapist and patient participants reflected on the salience of physical activity promotion throughout physical therapy but, also, highlighted barriers in this context. Three themes explored idealized and problematic experiences with physical activity promotion in therapy, including: (1) individualized promotion of physical activity; (2) engagement within the community; and (3) options for physical activity in the community. A key observation across participants involved how community programs were not commonly integrated into therapy or included in referral practices because of perceived barriers such as a lack of programs in the community or lack of resources within therapy To facilitate physical therapists engagement with community-based sport and recreation options, more research needs to be conducted on prospective interventions with community based programs (e.g. peer support groups).
- Dissertation Note:
- B.S. Pennsylvania State University 2020.
- Technical Details:
- The full text of the dissertation is available as an Adobe Acrobat .pdf file ; Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view the file.
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