Physiotherapists' experiences with a blended osteoarthritis intervention: a mixed methods study

Physiother Theory Pract. 2020 May;36(5):572-579. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2018.1489926. Epub 2018 Jun 28.


E-Exercise is an effective 12-week blended intervention consisting of around five face-to-face physiotherapy sessions and a web-based application for patients with hip/knee osteoarthritis. In order to facilitate effective implementation of e-Exercise, this study aims to identify physiotherapists' experiences and determinants related to the usage of e-Exercise. Methods: An explanatory sequential mixed methods design embedded in a randomized controlled trial comparing e-Exercise with usual physiotherapy in patients with hip/knee osteoarthritis. Usage of e-Exercise was based on recruitment rates of 123 physiotherapists allocated to e-Exercise and objective web-based application usage data. Experiences and determinants related to e-Exercise usage were investigated with a questionnaire and clarified with semi-structured interviews. Results: Of the 123 physiotherapists allocated to e-Exercise, 54 recruited more than one eligible patient, of whom 10 physiotherapists continued using e-Exercise after the study period. Physiotherapists had mixed experiences with e-Exercise. Determinants related to intervention usage were appropriateness, added value, time, workload, professional autonomy, environmental factors, and financial consequences. Physiotherapists recommended to improve the ability to tailor e-Exercise to the individual needs of the patient patients' individual needs. Discussion: Determinants related to the usage of e-Exercise provided valuable information for the implementation of e-Exercise on broader scale. Most importantly, the flexibility of e-Exercise needs to be improved. Next, there is a need for education on how to integrate an online program within physiotherapy.

Keywords: Physiotherapy; e-Health; implementation; osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / rehabilitation*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapists*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telerehabilitation / methods*