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Physical activity promotion in Australian physiotherapy practice: how do physiotherapists promote physical activity and what factors influence promotion? (PhD Academy Award)
  1. Brea Kunstler1,2
  1. 1 BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Faculty of Health, Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Brea Kunstler, BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia; brea.kunstler{at}

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What did I do?

My PhD comprised studies that identified: (1) the efficacy of physiotherapist-led physical activity (PA) interventions; (2) the behaviour change techniques (BCTs), or individual strategies, Australian physiotherapists use to promote PA to improve general health (non-treatment physical activity [NTPA]) and (3) the factors influencing their decision to promote NTPA.1–5

Why did I do it?

Physiotherapists are expected to promote NTPA to increase the PA levels of patients to improve general health.6 It was important to establish if private practice and outpatient physiotherapists can successfully promote NTPA and the difficulties they face.

How did I do it?

I completed two systematic reviews that found physiotherapist-led NTPA interventions can increase patient PA levels in the short term only.1 Additionally, I found that physiotherapists use fewer BCTs when promoting NTPA in clinical compared with experimental settings,2 suggesting that physiotherapists might use few BCTs to change PA behaviour in practice. I designed a survey and an interview study to explain these findings. …

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  • Twitter @BreanneKunstler @PhysiosforPA

  • Collaborators Caroline F Finch; Jill L Cook; Joanne L Kemp; Paul D O’Halloran.

  • Funding Dr Kunstler was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend and RTP Fee-Offset Scholarship through Federation University Australia, BK is supported by an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (ID 1119971) and Professor Cook is an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow (ID 1058493). This research was partially funded by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation (Grant ID T16-BS001).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Author note This PhD was completed as part of my candidature at Federation University Australia and I am currently applying insights from this work at BehaviourWorks.