'I learnt so much about being active': experiences of people with rheumatoid arthritis on the impact of a physiotherapist-led intervention to encourage physical activity

Part of Special Series: WONCA World Rural Health Conference Abstracts 2022go to url


name here
Sean McKenna
1 Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist *

name here
Louise Larkin

name here
Tadhg Pyne
3 Research Assistant

name here
Stephen Gallagher
4 Professor

name here
Liam Glynn
5 MD, Professor of General Practice ORCID logo

name here
Alexander Fraser
6 Clinical Director

name here
Bente Esbensen
7 Professor

name here
Norelee Kennedy
8 Associate Professor Physiotherapy, Vice President Research


*Dr Sean McKenna


1 Department of Physiotherapy, Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, Health Service Executive, Croom, Ireland

2, 3, 8 School of Allied Health, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

4 Department of Psychology, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

5 School of Medicine, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

6 Department of Rheumatology, University Hospitals Limerick Group, Limerick, Ireland

7 Copenhagen Center for Arthritis Research, Center for Rheumatology and Spine Diseases, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark


10 January 2023 Volume 23 Issue 1


RECEIVED: 20 September 2022

ACCEPTED: 20 September 2022


McKenna S, Larkin L, Pyne T, Gallagher S, Glynn L, Fraser A, Esbensen B, Kennedy N.  'I learnt so much about being active': experiences of people with rheumatoid arthritis on the impact of a physiotherapist-led intervention to encourage physical activity. Rural and Remote Health 2023; 23: 8104. https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH8104


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

go to urlCited by

no pdf available, use your browser's print function to create one


Introduction: Physical activity (PA) is an important component in improving the health of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A Physiotherapist-led Intervention to Promote PA in people with RA (PIPPRA) was undertaken using the Behaviour Change (BC) Wheel. A qualitative study was conducted post intervention involving participants and healthcare professionals who participated in a pilot RCT.

Methods: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with the schedule exploring: experience and views of the intervention; experience and suitability of outcome measures used; and perceptions of BC and PA. Thematic analysis was used as an analytical approach. The COREQ checklist provided guidance throughout.

Results: Fourteen participants and eight healthcare staff participated. Three main themes were generated from participants: (1) positive experience of intervention – 'I found it very knowledgeable to help me get stronger'; (2) improvement in self-management – '… motivate me maybe to go back to doing a little bit more exercise'; and (3) negative impact of COVID-19 – 'I don’t think doing it online again would be really good at all'. Two main themes were generated from healthcare professionals: (1) positive learning experience of delivery – 'Really made me realise the importance of discussing physical activity with patients'; and (2) positive approach to recruitment – 'Very professional team showing the importance of having a study member on site'.

Discussion: Participants had a positive experience of being involved in a BC intervention in order to improve their PA and found it acceptable as an intervention. Healthcare professionals also had a positive experience, in particular the importance of recommending PA in empowering patients.

You might also be interested in:

2016 - Community assets and capabilities to recruit and retain GPs: the Community Apgar Questionnaire in rural Victoria

2015 - Developing a culturally competent, sustainable rural model for diabetes prevention

2013 - Determinants of acute diarrhoea among children under five years of age in Derashe District, Southern Ethiopia

This PDF has been produced for your convenience. Always refer to the live site https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/8104 for the Version of Record.