INTRODUCTION: Physically disabled people are less physically active compared with healthy people. Existing physical activity (PA) interventions are limited in reach, since they are primarily rehabilitation or school based. The current study aims to develop a community-based intervention for stimulating PA in hard-to-reach physically disabled people.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: To systematically develop a PA-stimulating intervention, intervention mapping (six steps) was applied. PA level and health-related quality of life of patients after rehabilitation was determined using questionnaires (step 1). Qualitative research was performed to study professionals' and physically disabled people's ideas about intervention objectives, determinants and design (steps 2 and 3). Since experts expressed no need for a new intervention, the existing intervention 'Activity coach' was adapted to the specific target population. The adapted intervention 'Activity coach+' composes a network of intermediate organisations that refers participants to an activity coach, who coaches participants during 1 year. After a preintervention physical assessment by a physiotherapist, participants will be individually guided to existing organised or non-organised activities. An activity tracker will be used to monitor and stimulate PA in daily life (step 4). To support adoption and implementation, meetings between involved parties are organised (step 5). 'Activity coach+' is implemented in community in March 2017, and will be evaluated using a mixed-method analysis. Quantitative evaluation of intervention effects on PA, health and social participation takes place after 0, 2, 4, 6 and 12 months. The implementation process and experiences with the intervention will be determined using qualitative research (step 6).
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Insights from this study will be used for dissemination and further development of the intervention. The Medical Ethical Committee of the University Medical Center Groningen confirmed that formal ethical approval was not required (METc 2016/630).
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NTR6858.