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Qualitative study exploring factors affecting the implementation of a vocational rehabilitation intervention in the UK major trauma pathway

Kettlewell, Jade; Radford, Kate; Kendrick, Denise; Patel, Priya; Bridger, Kay; Kellezi, Blerina; Das Nair, Roshan; Jones, Trevor; Timmons, Stephen

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Professor of Primary Care Research

Research Assistant

Kay Bridger

Blerina Kellezi

Professor of Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology

Trevor Jones

Professor of Health Services Management


Objectives This study aimed to: (1) understand the context for delivering a trauma vocational rehabilitation (VR) intervention; (2) identify potential barriers and enablers to the implementation of a VR intervention post-trauma. Design Qualitative study. Data were collected in person or via phone using different methods: 38 semistructured interviews, 11 informal € walk-through care pathways' interviews, 5 focus groups (n=25), 5 codesign workshops (n=43). Data were thematically analysed using the framework approach, informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Setting Stakeholders recruited across five UK major trauma networks. Participants A variety of stakeholders were recruited (n=117) including trauma survivors, rehabilitation physicians, therapists, psychologists, trauma coordinators and general practitioners. We recruited 32 service users (trauma survivors or carers) and 85 service providers. Results There were several issues associated with implementing a trauma VR intervention including: culture within healthcare/employing organisations; extent to which healthcare systems were networked with other organisations; poor transition between different organisations; failure to recognise VR as a priority; external policies and funding. Some barriers were typical implementation issues (eg, funding, policies, openness to change). This study further highlighted the challenges associated with implementing a complex intervention like VR (eg, inadequate networking/communication, poor service provision, perceived VR priority). Our intervention was developed to overcome these barriers through adapting a therapist training package, and by providing early contact with patient/employer, a psychological component alongside occupational therapy, case coordination/central point of contact, and support crossing sector boundaries (eg, between health/employment/welfare). Conclusions Findings informed the implementation of our VR intervention within the complex trauma pathway. Although we understand how to embed it within this context, the success of its implementation needs to be measured as part of a process evaluation in a future trial.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 2, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 31, 2022
Publication Date Mar 31, 2022
Deposit Date Apr 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2022
Journal BMJ Open
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 3
Article Number e060294
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors on behalf of the ROWTATE team.