Design of a process evaluation of the implementation of a physical activity and sports stimulation programme in Dutch rehabilitation setting: ReSpAct

Femke Hoekstra*, Roelina A. Alingh, Cees P. van der Schans, Florentina J. Hettinga, Marjo Duijf, Rienk Dekker, Lucas H. V. van der Woude

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: There is a growing interest to study the transfer of evidence-based information into daily practice. The evidence-based programme Rehabilitation, Sports and Exercise (RSE) that aims to stimulate an active lifestyle during and after a rehabilitation period in people with a disability and/or chronic disease is prepared for nationwide dissemination. So far, however, little is known about the implementation of a new programme to stimulate physical activity in people with a disability in a rehabilitation setting. Therefore, a process evaluation of the implementation of the RSE programme within 18 Dutch rehabilitation centres and hospitals is performed in order to gain more insight into the implementation process itself and factors that facilitate or hamper the implementation process. This paper describes the study design of this process evaluation.

Methods: During a three-year period, the adoption, implementation and continuation of the RSE programme is monitored and evaluated in 12 rehabilitation centres and 6 hospitals with a rehabilitation department in The Netherlands. The main process outcomes are: recruitment, reach, dose delivered, dose received, fidelity, satisfaction, maintenance and context. The process outcomes are evaluated at different levels (organisational and patient) and different time points. Data collection includes both quantitative (online registration system and questionnaires) and qualitative (focus groups and semi-structured interviews) methods.

Discussion: The nationwide dissemination of an evidence-based programme to stimulate physical activity and sports during and after a rehabilitation period is extensively monitored and evaluated on different levels (organization and patients) using mixed methods. The study will contribute to the science of translating evidence-based programmes into daily practice of the rehabilitation care. The results of the study can be used to further optimize the content of the RSE programme and to facilitate the implementation in other health facilities. Furthermore, the results of the study can help future implementation processes in the rehabilitation setting.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number127
Publication statusPublished - 20-Sept-2014


  • Implementation
  • Dissemination
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical activity
  • Active lifestyle
  • Process evaluation
  • Disability
  • Chronic disease
  • Health promotion
  • CARE
  • LIFE

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