To evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a de-implementation intervention to support return-to-activity guideline use after concussion.
Family physicians in community practice (n = 21 at 5 clinics).
Pilot stepped wedge cluster randomized trial with qualitative interviews. Training on new guidelines for return to activity after concussion was provided in education outreach visits.
The primary feasibility outcomes were recruitment, retention, and postencounter form completion (physicians prospectively recorded what they did for each new patient with concussion). Efficacy indicators included a knowledge test and guideline compliance based on postencounter form data. Qualitative interviews covered Theoretical Domains Framework elements.
Recruitment, retention, and postencounter form completion rates all fell below feasibility benchmarks. Family physicians demonstrated increased knowledge about the return-to-activity guideline (M = 8.8 true-false items correct out of 10 after vs 6.3 before) and improved guideline adherence (86% after vs 25% before) after the training. Qualitative interviews revealed important barriers (eg, beliefs about contraindications) and facilitators (eg, patient handouts) to behavior change.
Education outreach visits might facilitate de-implementation of prolonged rest advice after concussion, but methodological changes will be necessary to improve the feasibility of a larger trial. The qualitative findings highlight opportunities for refining the intervention.