Feasibility of ActivABLES to promote home-based exercise and physical activity of community-dwelling stroke survivors with support from caregivers: A mixed methods study

Steinunn A. Olafsdottir, Helga Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg Bjartmarz, Charlotte Magnusson, Héctor Caltenco, Mikko Kytö, Laura Maye, David McGookin, Solveig Asa Arnadottir, Ingibjörg Hjaltadottir, Thora B. Hafsteinsdottir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Technical applications can promote home-based exercise and physical activity of community-dwelling stroke survivors. Caregivers are often able and willing to assist with home-based exercise and physical activity but lack the knowledge and resources to do so. ActivABLES was established to promote home-based exercise and physical activity among community-dwelling stroke survivors, with support from their caregivers. The aim of our study is to investigate the feasibility of ActivABLES in terms of acceptability, demand, implementation and practicality. METHODS: A convergent design of mixed methods research in which quantitative results were combined with personal experiences of a four-week use of ActivABLES by community-dwelling stroke survivors with support from their caregivers. Data collection before, during and after the four-week period included the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC), Timed-Up-and-Go (TUG) and Five Times Sit to Stand Test (5xSST) and data from motion detectors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with stroke survivors and caregivers after the four-week period. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data. Qualitative data was analysed with direct content analysis. Themes were identified related to the domains of feasibility: acceptability, demand, implementation and practicality. Data was integrated by examining any (dis)congruence in the quantitative and qualitative findings. RESULTS: Ten stroke survivors aged 55-79 years participated with their informal caregivers. Functional improvements were shown in BBS (+ 2.5), ABC (+ 0.9), TUG (- 4.2) and 5xSST (- 2.7). More physical activity was detected with motion detectors (stand up/sit down + 2, number of steps + 227, standing + 0.3 h, hours sitting/lying - 0.3 h). The qualitative interviews identified themes for each feasibility domain: (i) acceptability: appreciation, functional improvements, self-initiated activities and expressed potential for future stroke survivors; (2) demand: reported use, interest in further use and need for follow-up; (3) implementation: importance of feedback, variety of exercises and progression of exercises and (4) practicality: need for support and technical problems. The quantitative and qualitative findings converged well with each other and supported the feasibility of ActivABLES. CONCLUSIONS: ActivABLES is feasible and can be a good asset for stroke survivors with slight or moderate disability to use in their homes. Further studies are needed with larger samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalBMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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