Charlotte Boman is a PhD student and physiotherapist from Sweden at Gothenburg University, Sahlgrenska Academy, at the Institution of neuroscience and physiology. She works at the Centre for Physical Activity in Gothenburg providing, among other things, support to the health and medical care in the work with physical activity and especially the intervention physical activity on prescription (PAP). Her thesis is called Implementation of PAP for children with obesity in paediatric health care. The overall aim is to investigate the prerequisites, determinants, and feasibility of implementing PAP for children with obesity in paediatric outpatient clinics.
Background: Insufficient amounts of physical activity are a growing public health concern that is closely related to childhood obesity. While Swedish physical activity on prescription (PAP) is successful in increasing levels of physical activity in adults it has not been well-studied in children. The purpose of the study was to get an in depth understanding of paediatric healthcare professionals’ experiences of using PAP for children with obesity.
Method: Seven focus group discussions with 26 healthcare professionals from paediatric outpatient clinics in western Sweden were conducted. Data were analysed both inductively and deductively, framed by the Normalization Process Theory and its four domains: coherence, cognitive participation, collective action, and reflexive monitoring.
The PAP work for children with obesity is experienced to be about helping children to start being more physically active, and less about losing weight. The PAP work is considered unclear, and participants experienced a lack of guidelines. The children were perceived to have great needs and collaboration with physiotherapists and physical activity organisers was considered necessary. Healthcare professionals indicated several barriers that need to be addressed to better meet the children’s needs, especially in transitions between clinics and sports facilities.
Conclusion: PAP is a well-known intervention that is used inconsistently for children with obesity. To meet children’s needs, physiotherapists and physical activity organisers are perceived indispensable as collaborators, although there are several barriers that need to be addressed to adopt and improve the delivery of PAP