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Identifying the Physical Activity Needs of Outpatients with a Traumatic Brain Injury

Description: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant public health issue due to the incidence, complexity, and cost associated with treatment – emphasizing the need for effective rehabilitation programs. One mode of rehabilitation that has been demonstrated to improve health and reduce healthcare costs is health promotion programs (HPPs) that incorporate physical activity (PA). However, PA is not currently incorporated into the standard of care post-TBI. The purpose of this study was to conduct group interviews among individuals with a TBI undergoing outpatient rehabilitation to determine PA knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and barriers. Results will be used to develop a HPP that focuses on facilitating PA participation as part of the rehabilitation process. Seventeen participants completed a series of group interviews (2-3 people/group) regarding their PA needs. A qualitative research design was adopted and trustworthiness was established through triangulation of data (i.e., theoretical underpinning; multiple researchers and data-coders). A cross-case analysis was completed to identify themes and conceptual patterns. The main themes identified were (1) an inability to differentiate between PA and physical therapy, (2) a limited knowledge of PA health benefits and the relationship to rehabilitation, and (3) an interest in participating in a PA HPP as part of their rehabilitation. HPPs for outpatients with a TBI should educate individuals about PA, the associated health benefits, and the role PA plays in the rehabilitation process. A well designed HPP may increase the likelihood that individuals adopt and maintain PA as part of the rehabilitation process, thus reducing the risk of morbidity and mortality.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Self, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries