Lessons learned from "Changing Minds" to increase health care professionals' intentions to discuss physical activity with patients with a physical disability


Only 3% of Canadians with a physical disability engage in physical activity (PA) despite accumulating research evidence about the benefits of, and efficacious strategies that can enhance, participation among this group.  While health care professionals (HCPs) have been identified as important conduits of PA information among this group, few discuss PA with their patients.  The Canadian Paralympic Committee offers Changing Minds, Changing Lives (CMCL), a nationwide, seminar-mediated educational program that addresses this gap by providing HCPs with the knowledge, strategies and resources needed to discuss PA with their patients with physical disabilities.  This presentation will provide an overview of the participatory curriculum development process that engaged a number of stakeholders, including HCPs, to refine the existing CMCL intervention.  The steps used in this integrated knowledge translation (KT) approach will be discussed, including the inductive process that led to the selection of the Theory of Planned Behaviour as an underlying theory for the intervention and its subsequent evaluation.  The overall findings from CMCL’s nationwide evaluation will be briefly reviewed, with a focus on HCPs’ feedback about the intervention.  HCPs’ recall of the Canadian PA guidelines for the general and spinal cord injury populations at pre- and post-intervention, as well as at 1- and 6-month follow-up, will be explored.  Finally, lessons learned “behind the scenes” with regards to working with stakeholders, maintaining control of nationwide implementation and data collection, and integrating KT practice with KT science will be shared.

Acknowledgments: Work supported by a Mentor-Trainee Capacity Building in Knowledge Mobilization Award from the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Rick Hansen Institute, and study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The partnership between the Canadian Paralympic Committee and SCI Action Canada facilitated the re-development, implementation, and evaluation of the Changing Minds, Changing Lives intervention across Canada.