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Implementing physical activity in nursing homes: a qualitative exploration of Turkish health care staff’ experiences

Ayşe Arıkan Dönmez (Nursing Faculty, Hacettepe Universitesi, Ankara, Turkey)
Funda Aslan (Health Sciences Faculty, Cankiri Karatekin Universitesi, Cankiri, Turkey)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 15 August 2023




Implementing physical activity in nursing homes (NHs) can improve functional capacity, quality of life and well-being and even control symptoms associated with chronic diseases in elderly people. Taking into consideration the increasing in number of NHs in Türkiye, it is obvious that this matter should be handled. The purpose of this study is to explore health-care staff’s perspectives on implementing physical activity in NHs.


A generic, qualitative study using face-to-face semi-structured interviews was conducted among 25 health-care staff. A theoretical sampling strategy was used to inform data collection. Data were analyzed using a thematic analysis method.


Three main themes and seven sub-themes were generated from health-care staff’s narratives of implementing physical activity. Main themes were the lack of knowledge about physical activity, negative mindset and organizational requirements. Implementing physical activity in NHs contributes to a better quality of life for the residents and the protection and improvement of their health. However, a lack of knowledge, negative perceptions of both health-care staff and administrators about physical activity and the organizational requirement were recognized.


Findings from this study will enable administrators to recognize the potential challenges and make informed decisions to implement physical activity programs for NH residents from health-care staff’s perspectives who are working with elderly people.



The authors would like to thank the team at the Hacettepe University Teknokent Technology Transfer Center for their advanced editing in terms of language. The authors also express sincere thanks to all the participants at the NHS for their altruism in contributing their time and energy to participate in the study and for sharing their experiences and opinions.

Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflicts of interest: The authors of this article state that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of ethics: The Ethics Commission of Haccetepe University approved this study (number: 35853172-000). Verbal and written consent for participation in the study was obtained from all the participants.


Arıkan Dönmez, A. and Aslan, F. (2023), "Implementing physical activity in nursing homes: a qualitative exploration of Turkish health care staff’ experiences", Working with Older People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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