Facilitators and barriers in the collaboration between the primary care and the sport sector in order to promote physical activity: A systematic literature review

Prev Med. 2015 Dec;81:460-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2015.10.010. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


Introduction: The aim of this review was to identify collaborative initiatives between the primary care and the sport sector in order to promote physical activity (PA), and barriers and facilitators in these initiatives.

Method: Pubmed, SportDiscus, Web of Science, and SOCindex were systematically searched for publications published between 2000 and June 2014. Publications reporting on collaboration between the primary care and the sport sector to promote PA were included. Publications reporting on non-empirical data were excluded, except for study protocols.

Results: The search process yielded 1352 publications. After selection, 40 publications were included. Twenty-eight different initiatives were divided into four forms of collaboration, and two approaches to promote PA were distinguished with different kinds of facilitators and barriers. In the referral of patients, sport professionals' lack of medical knowledge, and health professionals' lack of time, were seen as barriers. In networks to organize activities to promote PA among the community, different shared interests and different cultures were seen as barriers.

Conclusion: This review showed that performance of intersectoral collaboration and the collaboration between both sectors are still unexplored. This review provides a first step towards an insight into collaboration and factors that facilitate or hinder collaboration between these sectors.

Keywords: collaboration; physical activity promotion; primary care; sport.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Exercise*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Sports*