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Table 3 Themes and descriptions

From: A qualitative study exploring contributors to the success of a community of practice in rehabilitation

Theme Description
Project Management Project management includes both how the participants perceived the project management, how they organized the project and the training of the CoP members. The project management was perceived as available, proficient, helpful and accepting which made the participants feel welcome and reassured. Overall the project was perceived as well organized. The training, which included e-learning and learning-by-doing, received positive feedback. Yet, the participants wished for more training and concentrated instruction in the start-up of the CoP.
Technological solutions The need for technological solutions was communicated as both a strength and a weakness of the project. Technological solutions provided flexibility and made live interaction and learning possible. Yet, the majority of the participants expressed frustration with technological problems and the inability to see each other, which inhibited their contribution in project activities.
Efficacy Efficacy describes the informants’ challenges to performing the project. Several reported a lack of previous experience with research methodology, which was linked to a feeling of high level of difficulty. Reading, discussing and receiving training in their second language (English) was also seen as a challenge. Participants’ ability to understand and employ research was perceived as a prerequisite for success.
Support from participant’s organization The majority of the participants discussed how the project interacted with their regular job. A widely held concern was whether their employers allocated sufficient resources to the project and, in particular, time to attend and work on aspects of it. Participants also expressed a need for the employer organization to be supportive of the project and implementation of evidence-based practice for the project to be successful.
Interaction Interaction and collaboration among participants was perceived as an essential part of the project. Several reported that they appreciated learning from each other, discussing and building relationships. However, these functions had been lacking so far. This was mainly due to using teleconferences as the main medium for interacting. Teleconferences were perceived as a challenging format because of: the large group size; not being able to see each other; not having met before; and language barriers. Thus, participants called for an earlier physical meeting, as well as additional future meetings and alternative ways to communicate to facilitate interaction.
The bigger picture This theme describes the participants’ reflections on the project and RKR’s role in relation to the rehabilitation field and the society. The participants expressed confidence in RKR and the importance of the project in improving the rehabilitation field, which some mentioned was too little evidence-based today. For this to happen it was perceived as essential to ensure quality and intelligibility of the research summaries. Additional strengths of the project were to increase knowledge sharing and network building across institutions. Some mentioned that the rehabilitation field previously had received limited funding and this could be a threat to the project.
Self-development The majority of the participants felt that a positive outcome of participating in the project was developing their professional competence, the opportunity to learn from practitioners from other institutions, and increasing confidence in their own practice.
Comprehension of project Comprehension of the project represents the uncertainty that many of the participants felt regarding the overall project and what their role and tasks were. They felt they knew the primary purpose of the project, but experienced uncertainty regarding more specific objectives, timelines, and what was to be expected of them to contribute.
Time Several participants felt the project was time consuming, especially in combination with their regular work responsibilities. Thus, a challenge was to manage and prioritize their own time to the project and make use of that time effectively. Most of the participants regarded the project as a part of their job and were reluctant to spend their leisure time working on the project. Some also reported that they felt it took a long time before they started actively working on the project.
Motivation Several participants mentioned being motivated by participating in a new project that extends beyond their own organization. It was perceived as meaningful and motivating to write research summaries that were relevant to their own practice. Some also mentioned being motivated by enthusiastic fellow participants and the opportunity to work with the competent professionals managing the project.