The connection between the primary care and the physical activity sector: Professionals' perceptions

Karlijn E.F. Leenaars*, Annemiek M.E. Florisson, Eva Smit, Annemarie Wagemakers, Gerard R.M. Molleman, Maria A. Koelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: To stimulate physical activity (PA) and guide primary care patients towards local PA facilities, Care Sport Connectors (CSC), to whom a broker role has been ascribed, were introduced in 2012 in the Netherlands. The aim of this study is to assess perceptions of primary care, welfare, and sport professionals towards the CSC role and the connection between the primary care and the PA sector. Methods: Nine focus groups were held with primary care, welfare and sport professionals within the CSC network. In these focus groups the CSC role and the connection between the sectors were discussed. Both top-down and bottom-up codes were used to analyse the focus groups. Results: Professionals ascribed three roles to the CSC: 1) broker role, 2) referral, 3) facilitator. Professionals were enthusiastic about how the current connection was established. However, barriers relating to their own sector were currently hindering the connection: primary care professionals' lack of time, money and knowledge, and the lack of suitable PA activities and instructors for the target group. Conclusions: This study provides further insight into the CSC role and the connection between the sectors from the point of view of primary care, welfare, and sport professionals. Professionals found the CSC role promising, but barriers are currently hindering the collaboration between both sectors. More time for the CSC and changes in the way the primary care and PA sector are organized seem to be necessary to overcome the identified barriers and to make a success of the connection. Trial registration: Dutch Trial register NTR4986. Registered 14 December 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1001
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Broker role
  • Intersectoral collaboration
  • PA sector
  • Primary health care
  • Qualitative study

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