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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: "It's not just about's the practice nurse that makes it work": a qualitative exploration of the views of practice nurses delivering complex physical activity interventions in primary care
Author(s): Beighton, Carole
Victor, Christina R
Normansell, Rebecca
Cook, Derek G
Kerry, Sally M
Iliffe, Steve
Ussher, Michael
Whincup, Peter H
Fox-Rushby, Julia
Woodcock, Alison
Harris, Tess
Keywords: Practise nurse
primary care
randomised controlled trial
walking intervention
physical activity
behaviour change techniques
Issue Date: 12-Dec-2015
Date Deposited: 28-Mar-2018
Citation: Beighton C, Victor CR, Normansell R, Cook DG, Kerry SM, Iliffe S, Ussher M, Whincup PH, Fox-Rushby J, Woodcock A & Harris T (2015) "It's not just about's the practice nurse that makes it work": a qualitative exploration of the views of practice nurses delivering complex physical activity interventions in primary care. BMC Public Health, 15, Art. No.: 1236.
Abstract: Background: Physical activity (PA) is important for physical and mental health in adults and older adults. Interventions incorporating theory-based behaviour change techniques (BCTs) can be useful in helping people to increase their PA levels and can be delivered by practice nurses in primary care. We undertook two primary care based complex walking interventions among adults and older adults. Both interventions were underpinned by BCTs and delivered by practice nurses and we sought their views and experiences of delivering over 1400 complex PA consultations.  Methods: Semi structured interviews with two practice nurse groups (n = 4 and n = 5) and two individual interviews (total n = 11) were conducted by independent facilitators; audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis.  Results: Five key themes emerged as enablers and/or barriers to delivering the intervention: preparation and training; initial and ongoing support; adherence to the protocol; the use of materials and equipment; and engagement of participants. The themes were organised into a framework of 'pre-trial' and 'delivery of the intervention'. Two additional 'post-trial' themes were identified; changed practice and the future feasibility of the intervention. Nurses believed that taking part in the trial, especially the BCT training, enhanced the quality and delivery of advice and support they provided within routine consultations, although the lack of time available routinely makes this challenging.  Conclusion: Delivering an effective behaviour change intervention in primary care requires adequate training and support for practice nurses both initially and throughout the trial as well as adequate consultation time. Enhanced skills from participating in such trials can lead to long-term changes, including more patient-centred consulting.  Trial registration: PACE-Lift ISRCTN 42122561, PACE-UP ISRCTN 98538934.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-015-2568-6
Rights: © Beighton et al. 2015 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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