Background: Process evaluations explore the way in which a study was conducted. The Managing Achilles Pain study (MAP study) had the primary aim of assessing the feasibility of the protocol for a future large longitudinal cohort study that would investigate the association and predictive relationship of self-efficacy, working alliance and expectations with outcome in the management of Achilles tendinopathy.

Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the processes conducted in the MAP study by exploring the acceptability of the study procedures from the participants' and physiotherapists' perspectives.

Design: A qualitative evaluation using semi-structured telephone interviews.

Method: All physiotherapists and participants who participated in the MAP study were invited. Data from physiotherapists (n = 6) and participants (n = 7) were transcribed and analysed using the Framework Approach.

Findings: From the physiotherapists' perspective 4 themes were identified relating to obstacles; (1) access to participants; (2) recall; (3) visibility; (4) time, and 4 themes were identified relating to facilitating success; (1) training; (2) motivation; (3) incentives; (4) simplicity. From the participants' perspective 2 themes were identified relating to obstacles; (1) information from the physiotherapist; (2) follow up, 3 themes were identified relating to facilitating success; (1) motivation; (2) website; (3) questionnaire, and 1 theme relating to unintended consequences of participating in the study; positive experience.

Conclusions: Although clinicians are enthused to be involved in research, organisational factors impact levels of engagement. Key influences to optimising the potential success of a study include the publicising of the study; optimising verbal recruitment strategies; and clarity in communication.


process evaluation, Managing Achilles Pain study, (MAP) study, Achilles tendinopathy

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