The Stroke Recovery in Motion Implementation Planner guides teams through the process of planning for the implementation of community-based exercise programs for people with stroke, in alignment with implementation science frameworks.
The purpose of this study was to conduct a field test with end users to describe how teams used the Planner in real-world conditions; describe the effects of Planner use on participants’ implementation-planning knowledge, attitudes, and activities; and identify factors influencing the use of the Planner.
This field test study used a longitudinal qualitative design. We recruited teams across Canada who intended to implement a community-based exercise program for people with stroke in the next 6 to 12 months and were willing to use the Planner to guide their work. We completed semistructured interviews at the time of enrollment, monitoring calls every 1 to 2 months, and at the end of the study to learn about implementation-planning work completed and Planner use. The interviews were analyzed using conventional content analysis. Completed Planner steps were plotted onto a timeline for comparison across teams.
We enrolled 12 participants (program managers and coordinators, rehabilitation professionals, and fitness professionals) from 5 planning teams. The teams were enrolled in the study between 4 and 14 months, and we conducted 25 interviews. We observed that the teams worked through the planning process in diverse and nonlinear ways, adapted to their context. All teams provided examples of how using the Planner changed their implementation-planning knowledge (eg, knowing the steps), attitudes (eg, valuing community engagement), and activities (eg, hosting stakeholder meetings). We identified team, organizational, and broader contextual factors that hindered and facilitated uptake of the Planner. Participants shared valuable tips from the field to help future teams optimize use of the Planner.
The Stroke Recovery in Motion Implementation Planner is an adaptable resource that may be used in diverse settings to plan community-based exercise programs for people with stroke. These findings may be informative to others who are developing resources to build the capacity of those working in community-based settings to implement new programs and practices. Future work is needed to monitor the use and understand the effect of using the Planner on exercise program implementation and sustainability.