Strengthening the role and functions of nursing staff in inpatient stroke rehabilitation: developing a complex intervention using the Behaviour Change Wheel

Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2017;12(sup2):1392218. doi: 10.1080/17482631.2017.1392218.


Purpose: Over the past two decades, attempts have been made to describe the nurse's role and functions in the inpatient stroke rehabilitation; however, the nursing contribution is neither clear nor well-defined. Previous studies have highlighted the need for research aimed at developing interventions in the neuro-nursing area. The objective of this paper was to describe the development of a nursing intervention aimed at optimising the inpatient rehabilitation of stroke patients by strengthening the role and functions of nursing staff.

Method: A systematic approach was used, consistent with the framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions by the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC). Based on qualitative methods and using the Behaviour Change Wheel's (BCW) stepwise approach, we sought behaviours related to nursing staffs' roles and functions.

Results: We conducted a behavioural analysis to explain why nursing staff were or were not engaged in these behaviours. The nursing staff's Capability, Opportunity and Motivation were analysed with regard to working systematically with a rehabilitative approach and working deliberately and systematically with the patient's goals.

Conclusion: We developed the educational intervention Rehabilitation 24/7. Following the MRC and the BCW frameworks is resource-consuming, but offers a way of developing a practical, well-structured intervention that is theory- and evidence based.

Keywords: Behaviour change; complex intervention; nursing; rehabilitation; stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Behavior
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / education
  • Practice Patterns, Nurses'*
  • Stroke / nursing*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • United Kingdom

Grant support

The study was supported by grants from the Novo Nordic Foundation, Tømmerhandler Johannes Fogs Fond, the Research Council Glostrup Hospital and Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup Denmark.