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Identifying the active ingredients of training interventions for healthcare professionals to promote and support increased levels of physical activity in adults with heart failure: a systematic review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mei Yee TangORCiD, Dr Matthew CooperORCiD, Linda Errington, Dr Leah Avery



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Heart failure (HF) is characterised by breathlessness and fatigue that impacts negatively on patients’ intentions to prioritise physical activity (PA). Healthcare professionals (HCPs) experience challenges when motivating patients to increase PA. It is essential to develop an understanding of how to support HCPs to deliver PA interventions. We aimed to identify active ingredients of HCP training interventions to enable delivery of PA interventions to HF patients. Nine databases were searched. Data were extracted on study characteristics, active ingredients, outcomes, and fidelity measures. Data were synthesised narratively, and a promise analysis was conducted on intervention features. Ten RCTs, which reported a training intervention for HCPs were included (N = 22 HCPs: N = 1,414 HF patients). Two studies reported the use of theory to develop HCP training. Seven behaviour change techniques (BCTs) were identified across the 10 training interventions. The most ‘promising’ BCTs were ‘instruction on how to perform the behaviour’ and ‘problem solving’. Two studies reported that HCP training interventions had been formally evaluated. Fidelity domains including study design, monitoring and improving the delivery of treatment, intervention delivery, and provider training were infrequently reported. Future research should prioritise theory-informed development and robust evaluation of training interventions for HCPs to enable faithful and quality delivery of patient interventions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ashley K, Tang MY, Flynn D, Cooper M, Errington L, Avery L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health Psychology Review

Year: 2024

Volume: 18

Issue: 2

Pages: 319-340

Online publication date: 13/08/2023

Acceptance date: 16/07/2023

Date deposited: 05/12/2023

ISSN (print): 1743-7199

ISSN (electronic): 1743-7202

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/17437199.2023.2238811


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Funder referenceFunder name
Teesside University