Ozakinci G, Carstairs SA, Hilary Rogowsky R, Burns Cunningham K, Margaret Wilkie L, Stevens J, McTavish M, Shield I & Sullivan F (2018) Increasing physical activity levels: designing a referral pathway to a community- and volunteer-based physical activity programme. 3rd Scottish Physical Activity Research Connections (SPARC) event, Edinburgh, 07.11.2018-07.11.2018. http://www.sparc.education.ed.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SPARC-2018-Abstracts.pdf
Background/Aim: The NICE guideline on exercise referral schemes to promote physical activity suggests that referral to activities based outside of the gym may be linked to improved adherence. We aim to design and pilot a process of referring patients attending primary care to community-based jogscotland groups and to examine the barriers and facilitators of such a process for health professionals and patients.
Methods: GPs and nurses from over 20 practices across Fife have expressed interest in the study. Exploratory interviews with health professionals and patients of primary care practices in Fife will be conducted (N=15-25 primary care registered patients with no physical health barriers to engage in physical activity and N=15-25 GPs/Nurses). These interviews will be guided by Theoretical Domains Framework and analysed using thematic analysis. Informed by findings from the interviews, a process of referral to jogscotland will be designed around how community-based programmes can acceptably be introduced through GP/nurse consultations. Lastly, a feasibility study testing this method of offering referral to jogscotland will be conducted.
Results: The findings will enable the design of a full trial to test a community-based approach to physical activity participation that would be scalable cross Scotland.
Conclusion: This project will link primary care patients to a structured and volunteer-led physical activity programme in their community that is not gym-based. Given these factors, it has the strong potential of being successful in maintaining behaviour change and achieving positive health outcomes for patients. This project additionally provides a unique opportunity to develop a partnership between primary care and community-based physical activity groups.