Maintaining Physical Activity (PA) in the long term remains a major challenge worldwide, particularly for stroke survivors. As a result, they are at higher risk of having a second stroke and developing a range of chronic health conditions. Whilst local charitable organisations provide short term programmes, the challenge arises on completion, as stroke survivors do not sustain PA in the longer term. There are many reasons for this including lack of support, unsuitable environments within the community setting to participate in PA and lack of knowledge on long term PA interventions to support stroke survivors with different levels of impairment. Research is therefore needed to determine the most suitable method of providing such support.
This PhD programme of work therefore aims to co-design and evaluate an intervention to support PA in the longer term.
The proposed project involves using a range of research methods including a scoping review, qualitative methods and a feasibility study design. We want to first identify the evidence based components of long term PA maintenance interventions. Using these results, the research will aim to understand the perspectives of key stakeholders on the components, structure and content of PA maintenance interventions. These key stakeholders will include people with stroke and their carers, in addition to health and exercise professionals. Once data is collated, the research team will co-design an initial iteration of the intervention. This intervention will be tested with stroke survivors to assess the feasibility of the intervention and to identify any adjustments required for a future fully powered RCT. This research will support stroke survivors locally to complete physical activity in the longer term.