Attitudes and needs of residents in long-term care facilities regarding physical activity: A systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies

Carola Maurer*, Sever Draganescu, Hanna Mayer, Heidrun Gattinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aims and objectives: To identify the attitudes and needs of nursing home residents regarding physical activity. Background: Nursing home residents often have mobility problems and are at high risk for further mobility impairment. From their point of view, being physically active is an important part of their perceived quality of life. However, no study has synthesised existing qualitative literature on residents’ attitudes and needs regarding physical activity. Design: Synthesis of qualitative studies. Methods: A systematic review and synthesis of qualitative studies was performed, using ENTREQ statement for reporting. Three databases (PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO) were searched, supplemented by a hand search. Qualitative studies published in English or German were included if they addressed the attitudes and needs of residents concerning the promotion of physical activities. Finally, 12 studies were critically reviewed, and a thematic synthesis was conducted. Results: Four analytical themes relating to residents’ attitudes were identified: “promoting physical activity increases the quality of life,” “accepting the conditions,” “personal initiative is significant” and “promoting physical activity is not helpful.” Relating to residents’ needs, the analyses yielded five themes: “living autonomously,” “continuing life as before,” “competent care,” “individually adapted programme and support,” and “barrier-free accessibility.”. Conclusion: Nursing home residents have different attitudes and needs regarding being physically active. It is important to perceive these attitudes and needs of each resident and to offer an individually adapted programme and support. Further research should consider motivational strategies for residents who are not very much familiar with being physically active and offer exercise programmes with individual parts to address residents’ preferences. Relevance to clinical practice: To motivate and activate residents, institutions should be aware of residents’ individual attitudes and needs regarding physical activity. Further development of interventions concerning mobility promotion activities and their implementation in long-term care settings should consider the outlined factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2386-2400
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • geriatric nursing
  • long-term care
  • mobility promotion
  • nursing homes
  • physical activities
  • qualitative research
  • synthesis of qualitative studies
  • systematic review
  • thematic synthesis
  • Nursing Homes
  • Attitude
  • Exercise/psychology
  • Humans
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Long-Term Care/psychology
  • Aged
  • Qualitative Research
  • Needs Assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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