Physical activity guidelines and promotion : an online survey of United Kingdom's prosthetic rehabilitation healthcare professionals

Deans, Sarah and Kirk, Alison and McGarry, Anthony and Rowe, David (2020) Physical activity guidelines and promotion : an online survey of United Kingdom's prosthetic rehabilitation healthcare professionals. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, 44 (4). pp. 192-201. ISSN 0309-3646 (

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Background: Healthcare professionals play a key role in supporting physical activity participation for people with lower limb absence. Objectives: The objectives of this study were to survey healthcare professionals’ views of people with lower limb absence in the United Kingdom, explore their awareness and knowledge of physical activity recommendations and investigate their current and desirable practice towards physical activity promotion. Study design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Potential participants were identified from open-access health-related databases, educational institution databases, and the authors’ professional networks. An online 40-item questionnaire was distributed electronically and by post. Survey items were multiple choice, Likert-type scale or open-ended questions to explore the characteristics of healthcare professionals, awareness/knowledge of physical activity guidelines, current and desired practice and views on physical activity promotion. Results: In total, 106 people responded. Physiotherapists had greater awareness/knowledge of physical activity guidelines compared to prosthetists/orthotists and other respondents. Awareness/knowledge of guidelines decreased as age, experience and time since qualification increased. The most common source of knowledge was self-directed learning. Conclusion: Continuing and improving education on the content of physical activity guidelines may be helpful for healthcare professionals in promoting physical activity to those with lower limb absence. Clinical relevance: This research aims to inform prosthetic rehabilitation professionals and academics about an under-researched area within physical activity for health. This knowledge could help develop interventions with the aim of improving physical activity promotion and participation, and ultimately the health and well-being of people with limb absence.