A dynamic analysis of physical activity barriers experienced by adults with spinal cord injury Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: To track and evaluate changes in the number and types of physical activity barriers experienced by adults with spinal cord injury (SCI) in response to a physical activity counselling intervention, using a newly-developed tracking and coding method. DESIGN: A secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial of a physical activity behavioural intervention (#NCT03111030). SETTING: General community. PARTICIPANTS: Adults with chronic SCI (nā€‰=ā€‰14). INTERVENTION: An introductory behavioural coaching session followed by eight, weekly follow-up sessions were delivered in-person or by phone/video call. The interventionist utilized behaviour-change techniques tailored to individual participants' readiness for change, barriers, and preferences. Participants set goals for achieving the SCI exercise guidelines. Coaching sessions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Changes over time in the number of barriers reported within each level of a social-ecological model of influences on physical activity (intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, policy). RESULTS: A total of 152 physical activity barriers were identified across 122 coaching sessions. Within each level of influence, the number of identified barriers decreased significantly over the intervention period. Intrapersonal barriers (e.g., lack of motivation, low self-efficacy) were most frequently reported and showed the greatest reductions over time. CONCLUSIONS: Using a new coding method to track changes in physical activity barriers, this pilot project showed a significant decrease in barriers over the course of a counselling intervention. Understanding physical activity barrier dynamics can improve the design of physical activity-enhancing interventions. Dynamic barrier-tracking methods could also be used to improve intervention implementation and evaluation.


  • Dinwoodie, Miranda
  • Hoekstra, Femke
  • Stelzer, Shannon
  • Ma, Jasmin K
  • Martin Ginis, Kathleen A

publication date

  • March 29, 2022