Healthcare professionals’ perspectives of barriers and facilitators in implementing physical activity programmes delivered to cancer survivors in a shared-care model: a qualitative study

Charlotte IJsbrandy*, Wim H. van Harten, Winald R. Gerritsen, Rosella P.M.G. Hermens, Petronella B. Ottevanger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: The positive impact of physical activity programmes has been recognised, but the current uptake is low. Authorities believe delivering these programmes in a shared-care model is a future perspective. The present study aimed to identify the barriers and facilitators affecting physical activity programme implementation in a shared-care model delivered with the cooperation of all the types of healthcare professionals involved. Methods: Thirty-one individual interviews with primary healthcare professionals (PHPs) and four focus group interviews with 39 secondary healthcare professionals (SHPs) were undertaken. We used Grol and Flottorp’s theoretical models to identify barriers and facilitators in six domains: (1) physical activity programmes, (2) patients, (3) healthcare professionals, (4) social setting, (5) organisation and (6) law and governance. Results: In the domain of physical activity programmes, those physical activity programmes that were non-tailored to the patients’ needs impeded successful implementation. In the domain of healthcare professionals, the knowledge and skills pertaining to physical activity programmes and non-commitment of healthcare professionals impeded implementation. HCPs expressed their concerns about the negative influence of the patient’s social network. Most barriers occurred in the domain of organisation. The PHPs and SHPs raised concerns about ineffective collaboration and networks between hospitals. Only the PHPs raised concerns about poor communication, indeterminate roles, and lack of collaboration with SHPs. Insufficient and unclear insurance coverage of physical activity programmes was a barrier in the domain of law and governance. Conclusions: Improving the domain of organisation seems the most challenging because the collaboration, communication, networks, and interactive roles between the PHPs and SHPs are all inadequate. Survivor care plans, more use of health information technology, improved rehabilitation guidelines, and better networks might benefit implementing physical activity programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3429-3440
JournalSupportive care in cancer
Early online date2 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Exercise
  • Health plan implementation
  • Neoplasms
  • Qualitative research
  • Rehabilitation
  • Cancer survivors

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