Implementing a Dutch Physical Therapy Intervention Into a U.S. Health System: Selecting Strategies Using Implementation Mapping

Front Public Health. 2022 Jul 11:10:908484. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.908484. eCollection 2022.


Background: Coach2Move is a person-centered physical therapy intervention that has demonstrated success in changing physical activity behaviors among older adults in the Netherlands. In this manuscript, we describe how we developed an implementation plan for Coach2move in a U.S. population and healthcare system using Implementation Mapping.

Methods: We established an implementation planning team of researchers, patients, and clinicians. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research provided an overall structure for consideration of the context for implementation. Implementation Mapping guided the planning process. The implementation planning team worked sequentially through the five tasks of Implementation Mapping (1) Identify needs, program adopters and implementers; (2) Identify adoption and implementation outcomes, performance objectives, determinants, and matrices of change; (3) Choose theoretical models and implementation strategies; (4) Produce implementation protocols; (5) Evaluate implementation outcomes. In this manuscript, we identify our evaluation plan but not results as data collection is ongoing.

Results: Clinic managers and physical therapists were identified as program adopters and implementors. Performance objectives necessary steps to achieving implementation outcomes were linked to Coach2Move fidelity indicators with implementation by the physical therapist. These included delivery of person-centered care, motivational interviewing, meaningful goal setting, shared decision-making in planning, and systematic monitoring and follow-up. Determinants linked to these performance objectives included knowledge, outcome expectations, skills and self-efficacy, and perceived norms. Implementation strategies were selected based on a review of methods effective for influencing these determinants. This resulted in four primary strategies (1) educational meetings and dynamic training, (2) peer-assessment meetings, (3) changing the electronic health record template, and (4) reminders and prompts. Measures of intervention acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility will be collected after training and early in implementation. Fidelity and effectiveness measures will be collected over the next 12-months.

Conclusion: Implementation mapping provided a systematic process for identifying what physical therapists would need to implement Coach2Move with fidelity. The result was a matrix linking behavioral determinants and performance objectives. These matrices of change allowed for systematic identification and tailoring of implementation strategies to the needs of our population and setting. The process was acceptable to diverse stakeholders, facilitated communication across stakeholders.

Keywords: behavior change and communication; implementation science; musculoskeletal disorders; physical activity; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*