Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australian Occupational Therapy Journal




School of Medical and Health Sciences




Open access publishing facilitated by Edith Cowan University, as part of the Wiley - Edith Cowan University agreement via the Council of Australian University Librarians


Weerakkody, A., Emmanuel, R., White, J., Godecke, E., & Singer, B. (2023). Unlocking the restraint—development of a behaviour change intervention to increase the provision of modified constraint-induced movement therapy in stroke rehabilitation. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 70(6), 661-677.


Background: Strong evidence supports the provision of modified constraint-induced movement therapy (mCIMT) to improve upper limb function after stroke. A service audit identified that very few patients received mCIMT in a large subacute, early-supported discharge rehabilitation service. A behaviour change intervention was developed to increase the provision of mCIMT following an unsuccessful ‘education only’ attempt. This paper aims to systematically document the steps undertaken and to provide practical guidance to clinicians and rehabilitation services to implement this complex, yet effective, rehabilitation intervention. Methods: This clinician behaviour change intervention was developed over five stages and led by a working group of neurological experts (n = 3). Data collection methods included informal discussions with clinicians and an online survey (n = 35). The staged process included reflection on why the first attempt did not improve the provision of mCIMT (stage 1), mapping barriers and enablers to the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and behaviour change wheel (BCW) to guide the behaviour change techniques (stages 2 and 3), developing a suitable mCIMT protocol (stage 4), and delivering the behaviour change intervention (stage 5). Results: Reflection among the working group identified the need for upskilling in mCIMT delivery and the use of a behaviour change framework to guide the implementation program. Key determinants of behaviour change operated within the TDF domains of knowledge, skills, environmental context and resources, social role and identity, and social influences. Following the development of a context-specific mCIMT protocol, the BCW guided the behaviour change intervention, which included education, training, persuasion, environmental restructuring, and modelling. Conclusion: This paper provides an example of using the TDF and BCW to support the implementation of mCIMT in a large early-supported discharge service. It outlines the suite of behaviour change techniques used to influence clinician behaviour. The success of this behaviour change intervention will be explored in future research.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.