There is growing evidence that improving physical activity during a hospital stay can prevent hospitalization-associated disabilities. However, sustainably improving physical activity in clinical practice is challenging. This project aims to improve physical activity of patients during hospital stay. A co-creational approach is used to identify barriers and develop and implement interventions improving physical activity of patients admitted to Amsterdam UMC, location AMC.

The Better By Moving project is conducted at five different hospital wards (two gastrointestinal- and oncology surgery, one internal medicine hematology, one internal medicine infectious diseases, and one cardiology). The primary study aim is to improve physical activity levels of hospitalized patients admitted to these hospital wards.

We first aim to quantify the physical activity levels at baseline, identify relevant patient factors, identify which barriers and solutions healthcare professionals believe might help, and understand which barriers and enablers are reported by patients.

This knowledge will be used to develop targeted interventions in co-creation. Therefore, we perform a quantitative cross-sectional observational study in which we assess patient factors and physical activity levels, we perform a mixed-methods study in which we assess both barriers and solutions from the perspectives of healthcare professionals, and we perform a scoping review of all literature on the reported barriers and enablers. Secondly, we develop and implement new interventions in co-creation with local patients and healthcare professionals.

Using an iterative cyclical process of planning, conducting, reflecting, and refining, we tailor our interventions to the local context. We evaluate this process using a mixed methods methodology containing an extensive qualitative assessment and quantitative analysis. We also evaluate various tools and interventions individually in collaboration with physicians, nurses and researchers from other departments.

The first participant was enrolled in the project in January 2018. The outcome evaluation and process evaluation were planned for June 2020. All results are expected for second quartile of 2021.

Researchers involved in this project

  • Professor dr. Cindy Veenhof PhD (UMCU);
  • Dr. Fenna van Nes (HvA);
  • Boukje Giele MSc;