Objective To explore how physiotherapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) perceive upper limb (UL) prediction algorithms in a stroke rehabilitation setting and identify potential barriers to and facilitators of their implementation. Design This was a qualitative study. Setting The study took place at a neurorehabilitation centre. Participants Three to six PTs and OTs. Methods We conducted four focus group interviews in order to explore therapists' perceptions of UL prediction algorithms, in particular the Predict Recovery Potential algorithm (PREP2). The Consolidated Framework for advancing Implementation Research was used to develop the interview guide. Data were analysed using a thematic content analysis. Meaning units were identified and subthemes formed. Information gained from all interviews was synthesised, and four main themes emerged. Results The four main themes were current practice, perceived benefits, barriers and preconditions for implementation. The participants knew of UL prediction algorithms. However, only a few had a profound knowledge and few were using the Shoulder Abduction Finger Extension test, a core component of the PREP2 algorithm, in their current practice. PREP2 was considered a potentially helpful tool when planning treatment and setting goals. A main barrier was concern about the accuracy of the algorithm. Furthermore, participants dreaded potential dilemmas arising from having to confront the patients with their prognosis. Preconditions for implementation included tailoring the implementation to a specific unit, sufficient time for acquiring new skills and an organisation supporting implementation. Conclusion In the present study, experienced neurological therapists were sceptical towards prediction algorithms due to the lack of precision of the algorithms and concerns about ethical dilemmas. However, the PREP2 algorithm was regarded as potentially useful.
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