Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System: Identifying Barriers, Facilitators, and Strategies for Implementation in Research, Education, and Clinical Care

Published:October 25, 2022DOI:



      To explore rehabilitation professionals' experiences and perspectives of barriers and facilitators to implementing the Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System (RTSS) in research, education, and clinical care.


      A cross-sectional survey with free text and binary responses was completed by rehabilitation professionals. Survey data were analyzed with a deductive approach of directed content analysis using 2 implementation science frameworks: Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC).


      Rehabilitation professionals across research, educational, and clinical settings.


      One hundred and eleven rehabilitation professionals—including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, psychologists, researchers, and clinic directors—who explored possible uses or applications of the RTSS for clinical care, education, or research (N=111).


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Frequency of reported CFIR barriers and facilitators, as well as keywords related to CFIR and ERIC constructs.


      The barriers and facilitating strategies differed according to the end-users’ intended use, that is, research, education, or clinical. Overall, the 4 most frequently encountered CFIR barriers were the RTSS's complexity, a lack of available RTSS resources, reduced access to knowledge and information about the RTSS, and limited knowledge and beliefs about the RTSS. The ERIC-CFIR matching tool identified 7 ERIC strategies to address these barriers, which include conducting educational meetings, developing and distributing educational materials, accessing new funding, capturing and sharing local knowledge, identifying and preparing champions, and promoting adaptability.


      When attempting to use the RTSS, rehabilitation professionals commonly encountered barriers to understanding and skillfully using the framework. Theory-driven implementation strategies have been identified that have potential for addressing the RTSS's complexity and lack of educational and skill-building resources. Future work can develop the identified implementation strategies and evaluate their effects on RTSS implementation.

      Key words

      List of abbreviations:

      CFIR (Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research), ERIC (Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change), OT (occupational therapist), PT (physical therapist), RTSS (Rehabilitation Treatment Specification System), SLP (speech language pathologist)
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