BACKGROUND: Sufficient physical activity is important for solid organ transplant recipients (heart, lung, liver, kidney). However, recipients do not meet the recommended amount or required type of physical activity. The perceived barriers to and facilitators of physical activity in this population are largely unknown.

METHODS: Semi-structured in depth interviews were conducted with solid organ transplant recipients in order to explore experienced barriers and facilitators. Qualitative methodology with thematic line-by-line analysis was used for analysis, and derived themes were classified into personal and environmental factors.

RESULTS: The most important indicated barriers were physical limitations, insufficient energy level, fear, and comorbidities. The most frequently mentioned facilitators included motivation, coping, consequences of (in)activity, routine/habit, goals/goal priority, and responsibility for the transplanted organ. Neutral factors acting as a barrier or facilitator were self-efficacy and expertise of personnel. A comparison of barriers and facilitators between transplant recipient groups yielded no overt differences.

CONCLUSION: Several personal and environmental factors were indicated that should be considered in intervention development to increase physical activity behavior in solid organ transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • transplantation
  • barriers
  • motivators
  • qualitative research


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