Self-management support is widely accepted for the management of chronic conditions. Self-management often requires behaviour change in patients, in which primary care nurses play a pivotal role. To support patients in changing their behaviour, the structured behaviour change Activate intervention was developed. This intervention aims to enhance physical activity in patients at risk for cardiovascular disease in primary care as well as to enhance nurses’ role in supporting these patients. This study aimed to evaluate nurses’ perceptions towards the delivery and feasibility of the Activate intervention.
A qualitative study nested within a cluster-randomised controlled trial using semistructured interviews was conducted and thematically analysed. Fourteen nurses who delivered the Activate intervention participated.
Three key themes emerged concerning nurses’ perceptions of delivering the intervention: nurses’ engagement towards delivering the intervention; acquiring knowledge and skills; and dealing with adherence to the consultation structure. Three key themes were identified concerning the feasibility of the intervention: expectations towards the use of the intervention in routine practice; perceptions towards the feasibility of the training programme; and enabling personal development.
Delivering a behaviour change intervention is challenged by the complexity of changing nurses’ consultation style, including acquiring corresponding knowledge and skills. The findings have increased the understanding of the effectiveness of the Activate trial and will guide the development and evaluation of future behaviour change interventions delivered by nurses in primary care.
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