Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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A summary of the body of knowledge on physical activity for people following stroke: a protocol for a scoping review

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-15, 12:08 authored by Claire McFeeters, Katy Pedlow, Niamh Kennedy, Heather Colquhoun, Suzanne McDonoughSuzanne McDonough

Background: The cause of low levels of physical activity (PA) in the post stroke population is complex and multifactorial. The volume of research in the area of physical activity and stroke is vast, coupled with complexities with respect to definitions of physical activity. The current UK clinical guidelines (National Institute of Care and Excellence NICE 2013 and Royal College of Physicians RCP 2016) are broad in their advice with respect to implementation strategy dimensions* across the stroke pathway of care**. In response, our aim for this scoping review is to gain an overview of the evidence, describing the focus in relation to population demographics*** across the stroke pathway of care and the implementation strategy dimensions being utilised in physical activity interventions.

* Implementation strategy dimensions extracted in this scoping review include physical activity specific dimensions (mode, frequency, duration, intensity), domains (occupational, domestic, transport, leisure time) and provider (who delivers the intervention).

** Stroke pathway of care refers to the setting in which the intervention occurred (e.g. acute care, primary health care or community).

***Population demographics include severity of stroke, physical or cognitive impairment level, gender, classification of stroke; acute, subacute, chronic and variation of time since onset of stroke

Methods and analysis: This scoping review protocol is registered with the Open Science Framework ( The review will follow Arksey and O’Malley scoping review methodology. The search will include relevant systematic reviews from a range of electronic databases, followed by title and abstract screening as well as a full text review. All review steps will involve two or more reviewers. Data extraction, charting and summary will be guided by a template aligned to the study objectives. Findings will be presented in tabular format and will include a descriptive numerical summary as well as a descriptive overview.

Ethics and dissemination: Findings will be disseminated through a peer-reviewed journal, conference presentations and as part of future workshops and events with professionals involved in physical activity and stroke. The scoping review does not require ethics approval.



This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Physical Therapy Reviews on 3 December 2020 available online:

Published Citation

McFeeters C, Pedlow K, Kennedy N, Colquhoun H, McDonough S. A summary of the body of knowledge on physical activity for people following stroke: a protocol for a scoping review. Physical Therapy Reviews. 2021;26:(1)10-18

Publication Date

3 December 2020


  • School of Physiotherapy

Research Area

  • Population Health and Health Services


Informa UK Limited


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)