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Attitudes of Family Practitioners Towards an Exercise Program for Mobility-Limited Elderly (HOMEfit)

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2017.0466–0472

german translation / full article

Bettina Bücker, Anna Mai, Renate Klaaßen-Mielke, Michael Brach, Stefan Wilm, Petra Platen, Timo Hinrichs

Keywords: family medicine aged chronic disease mobility limitation physical activity

Background: In the context of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), a multidimensional home-based exercise program was delivered to chronically ill and mobility-limited elderly at the family practitioner’s (FP’s) practice through a cooperation between FPs and exercise therapists (HOMEfit study). The intervention lasted twelve weeks and included individual counseling sessions at the FP’s practice and on the telephone. The FPs were asked to motivate the patients. The present study evaluates experiences and attitudes of the involved FPs.

Methods: After participation, the FPs were interviewed by questionnaire and in focus groups on their attitudes regarding activity in the elderly in general and on their experiences with the program. Transcripts were analyzed in a multidisciplinary team using qualitative content analysis.

Results: FPs considered activity as effective to maintain mobility. Lack of time and lack of knowledge concerning the current recommendations regarding physical activity in the elderly were mentioned as impediments to extensive counseling in daily practice routine. The program was received positively. The actual benefit was estimated to be low, the sustainability was seen as missing. A long-term continuation of the program was considered essential.

Conclusions: The HOMEfit program was perceived as reasonable, feasible and suitable to overcome barriers regarding activity counseling in daily practice routine. However, the program would have to be extended beyond the current running time of twelve weeks and should be combined with continuous meetings or local offers.


(State: 15.11.2017)

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