Exercise referral instructors’ perspectives on supporting and motivating participants to uptake, attend and adhere to exercise prescription: A qualitative study

Colin B. Shore, Stuart D.R. Galloway, Trish Gorely, Angus M. Hunter, Gill Hubbard

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Abstract

Exercise referral schemes are designed to support people with non-communicable diseases to increase their levels of exercise to improve health. However, uptake and attendance are low. This exploratory qualitative study aims to understand uptake and attendance from the perspectives of exercise referral instructors using semi-structured interviews. Six exercise referral instructors from one exercise referral scheme across four exercise referral sites were interviewed. Four themes emerged: (i) the role that instructors perceive they have and approaches instructors take to motivate participants to take-up, attend exercise referral and adhere to their exercise prescription; (ii) instructors’ use of different techniques, which could help elicit behaviour change; (iii) instructors’ perceptions of participants’ views of exercise referral schemes; and (iv) barriers towards providing an exercise referral scheme. Exercise referral instructors play an important, multifaceted role in the uptake, attendance and adherence to exercise referral. On-going education and peer support for instructors may be useful. Instructors’ perspectives help us to further understand how health and leisure services can design successful exercise referral schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number203
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Behaviour change
  • Community-based research
  • Exercise prescription
  • Motivation
  • Physical activity
  • Public health practice

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