DOI: 10.3390/jfmk8040163 ISSN: 2411-5142

The Perspective of Rehabilitation Nurses on Physical Exercise in the Rehabilitation of Older People in the Community: A Qualitative Study

Rogério Ferreira, Nuno Fernandes, Carina Bico, Ana Bonito, Cláudia Moura, Luís Sousa, Cristina Lavareda Baixinho, César Fonseca
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Histology
  • Rheumatology
  • Anatomy

In the face of an increasingly aging population, nurses have to design and implement programs aimed at the elderly in order to keep them healthy and maintain their quality of life. Structured physical exercise and overall physical activity play a major role in maintaining an active lifestyle, improving health, preventing disease, and helping to maintain older people’s quality of life. To investigate the importance of implementing physical exercise programs for the older person in the community, taking into account the perspective of the rehabilitation nurse specialist, this is a qualitative, exploratory, and descriptive study with nine rehabilitation nurses from various regions of Portugal who have experience of implementing physical exercise programs with the elderly. This study used semi-structured interviews, one of the most common data collection procedures in social and health research. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. The study received a positive opinion from the Ethics Committee. The participants’ perspectives focused on the following subjects: “Physical exercise program for the elderly in the community”, “Importance of physical exercise in the rehabilitation of the elderly in the community”, “People’s adherence to the programs”, “Gains in health resulting from the implementation of these strategies” and “Gains from group activities”. A set of indicators emerged from the analysis. Nurses recognize the importance of using structured physical exercise programs adjusted to the rehabilitation of the older person, with gains in promoting active and healthy aging.

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