UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Current Practice and Barriers to Physiotherapists’ Use of Resistance Exercise for Older Adults in Acute Care Chan, Amber; Hoens, Alison; Singh, C. A.; Elashi, Maha; Gerevas, K.; Idle, M; Lundie, J.; Urbina, M.; Pace, A.; Ma, Jasmin


Purpose: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to 1) describe the current use of resistance exercise (REx) and 2) identify barriers and facilitators for physiotherapists using REx among older adults in acute care. Methods: An online questionnaire measure guided by the Theoretical Domains Framework was distributed to physiotherapists across British Columbia (BC). Responses were scored on a five point Likert scale. Thematic analysis was used to code open text data from the questionnaire. Results: 105 physiotherapists (male=23, age 39.9±10.3 years, 12.4±10.3 years of experience) completed the questionnaire. Respondents reported frequently performing functional testing (95%) and assessing muscle strength (70%) in older adults, but few often prescribe REx to patients (34%). Prioritization of REx among other duties (2.62±1.02) and perceived poor patient motivation (2.97±0.88) were ranked among the greatest barriers. Open text data revealed physiotherapists felt some patients were unable to perform REx, they lacked a clear definition of REx, and sufficient support personnel. Conclusions: Addressing priorities, patient motivation, and providing resources may support physiotherapists to increase REx use, an important strategy for reducing the incidence of hospital associated deconditioning among older adults in the acute care setting.

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