Experiences of an In-Reach Service Promoting Physical Activity in the Community: A qualitative Study of People with Stroke
(2016) Experiences of an In-Reach Service Promoting Physical Activity in the Community: A qualitative Study of People with Stroke, no. 23.
Question: What are the experiences of the participants attending an In-Reach service (IRS) post stroke and how does this enhance physical activity in their local communities? Design: A qualitative focus group was conducted by two senior researchers in order to identify and explore the participants' experiences of the IRS. Verbatim transcripts were thematically analysed by a group of student researchers. Participants: Six participants with stroke who had attended the IRS took part; 3 male and 3 female, average age 64.3 (range 35-86); time post stroke 2-7 months. Results: Data from the focus group revealed three main themes: support, empowerment and activity. Positive feedback from the exercise instructor and peers motivated participants to engage in physical activity. Particular weight was given to the importance of individually tailored activities based on participants' targets. The participants agreed that physical activity had a positive impact after their stroke on activity and participation in their daily lives. Conclusion: Although the focus group aimed to explore the participants' experiences of the IRS, the discussion also related to their experiences of community-based activity. The support provided and the accessible leisure centres were perceived as facilitators for exercising. The IRS may have contributed to their uptake of exercise in the community. The findings support the idea that activity and participation should be facilitated as close as possible to peoples' lives. In order to fully assess the importance of physical activity more comprehensive data of service users and service providers experiences of the IRS is needed.