Healthcare professionals' perspectives on a blended care program in primary care: A qualitative study

S. A.J. Toonders*, E. Y. Poolman, M. E. Nieboer, M. F. Pisters, C. Veenhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Increasingly, healthcare policies have changed focus from cure and care to behaviour and health. Prevention is becoming more important, which requires a change in the role of healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals' role is changing from being a therapist to taking on the role of a coach. To prevent chronicity in Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS), an integrated blended care program was developed. To apply this new program in daily practice, it is important to gain insight into the usability. From the healthcare professionals' point of view the concept of usability consists of performance, satisfaction and acceptability. In this qualitative study participants were recruited after participating in the PARASOL program. Demographics were collected. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using thematic analysis. Ten healthcare professionals (six physical therapists and four mental health nurses) were interviewed. Four themes on usability were identified: (1) Who fits in the program, (2) preparation, (3) experience with the program and (4) interprofessional collaboration. This study gathered healthcare professionals' experiences with and attitudes towards integrating healthcare and offering blended care programs. An integrated blended care program offers the possibility to personalize treatment. Findings show attention should be given to the new responsibilities of healthcare professionals, and their role in integrated and blended care. This new approach of delivering healthcare can facilitate interprofessional collaboration. Achieving sustainable change in patients however still requires instruction and support for healthcare professionals implementing behavioural change techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100440
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalInternet Interventions
Early online date4 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by SIA -RAAK-public [Grant No. 2015-02-24P ].

Funding Information:
This work was supported by SIA-RAAK-public [Grant No. 2015-02-24P].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Blended therapy
  • E-coaching
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Medically unexplained physical symptoms
  • Usability


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