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The appeal of the Functional Fitness MOT to older adults and health professionals in an outpatient setting: a mixed-method feasibility study

Authors de Jong LD, Peters AD, Gawler S, Chalmers N, Henderson C, Hooper J, Laventure R, McLean L, Skelton DA

Received 8 May 2018

Accepted for publication 24 July 2018

Published 19 September 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 1815—1829

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S173481

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Video abstract presented by Dawn A Skelton.

Lex D de Jong,1,2 Andy D Peters,3 Sheena Gawler,4,5 Nina Chalmers,6 Claire Henderson,6 Julie Hooper,6 Robert Laventure,5,7 Laura McLean,6 Dawn A Skelton1,5

1Centre for Living, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK; 2School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, WA, Australia; 3Delivering Better Care Hub, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK; 4Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, London, UK; 5Later Life Training Ltd, Killin, UK; 6Edinburgh Community Physiotherapy Service, Edinburgh, UK; 7British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Loughborough, UK

Purpose: To understand the views and perceptions regarding the Functional Fitness MOT (FFMOT), a battery of functional tests followed by a brief motivational interview, of both the older people undergoing it and the health professionals delivering it.
Patients and methods: Physically inactive older adults (n=29) underwent the FFMOT and subsequently attended focus groups to share their perceptions of it and to discuss the barriers, motivators, health behavior change, and scope to improve physical activity (PA) levels. PA levels were recorded at baseline and again at 12 weeks together with a post-intervention questionnaire concerning behavior change. Participating physiotherapists and technical instructors were interviewed.
Results: Most participants felt they had learned about their abilities and comparisons with their peers, had a change in perception about the importance of good balance and strength, and felt the FFMOT helped raise their awareness of local and self-directed physical activity opportunities. Most felt their awareness of the need for PA had not changed, but 25% of participants started a new organized PA opportunity. The health professionals perceived the FFMOT as being easy to administer, educating, and motivating for participants to increase their PA. Space, time, finances, and insecurity about having the necessary skills to conduct the FFMOTs were seen as barriers in implementing the FFMOT in daily practice.
Conclusion: Over half of those offered the FFMOT accepted it, suggesting it is appealing. However, most participants felt they were already active enough and that their awareness of the need for PA had not changed. There were positive perceptions of the FFMOT from both professionals and older people, but both felt the FFMOT could be held in a community venue. The overall findings suggest that the FFMOT is feasible in the clinical setting, but its effectiveness has yet to be determined.

Keywords: aged, health behavior, health services for the aged, physical activity, physical fitness, physical therapists

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