We evaluate the nationwide implemented rehabilitation programme Rehabilitation, Sports and Exercise (RSE) in the target population of people with a physical disability and/or chronic disease.

The Rehabilitation, Sports and Active lifestyle (ReSpAct) study is a multicentre longitudinal cohort study that aims to evaluate a tailored counselling programme ‘Rehabilitation, Sports and Exercise’ (RSE) (Dutch: ‘Revalidatie, Sport en Bewegen’, RSB) in inpatients and outpatients in the Dutch rehabilitation care. Besides, a process evaluation was carried out on the process of implementation of the programme in Dutch rehabilitation care.

The main objectives of the research project ReSpAct are:

  1. To gain more insight in the possible dose-response associations between the RSE programme and the physical activity behaviour of the patients.
  2. To gain more insight in the underlying mechanisms of the RSE programme.
  3. To monitor the process of implementation of the RSE programme within Dutch rehabilitation care.
  4. To perform an economic evaluation of the RSE programme.

The physical activity and sports stimulation RSE programme aims to stimulate an active lifestyle in persons with a physical disability and/or chronic disease subsequent to their rehabilitation period. As part of the RSE programme an active lifestyle is stimulated during the rehabilitation period. Sports and exercise are an integrated part of the rehabilitation treatment. In addition, before discharge from rehabilitation, the patient is referred to the Sports Desk to receive an individual consultation with a sports counsellor. Following this first consultation and after discharge, the patient will also receive four telephone counselling calls. With these consultations, the counsellor will guide and support the patient to maintain an active lifestyle in the home setting. The counsellors use tailored counselling based on motivational interviewing.


How we bring science closer to society


We try to be transparent to society, participants, rehabilitation practitioners, and research colleagues. We publish our research manuscripts open access to make it available for research colleagues, also in low-income countries, and people in society (including participants and rehabilitation practitioners). The society should have the opportunity to see and read the findings of our labour. Besides, we use open science practices in our research, e.g. open coding, open data.


We encourage the collaboration with rehabilitation practice (e.g., Stichting Special Heroes Nederland, Knowledge centre Sports and Physical Activity, and rehabilitation centres), team science and international collaboration. The ReSpAct team is an international research group, which consists of a physician, and professors/researchers working in the Netherlands, Canada and the UK. This team science benefits our research due to the international perspectives and perspectives from rehabilitation practice.


We prioritize to share our scientific knowledge with practice and society via scientific conferences and via Dutch valorisation flyers or booklets. But most important, our research findings will help to improve the nationwide implemented RSE programme that aims to improve physical activity and health in people with a physical disability and/or chronic disease during and after rehabilitation.

External members

  • Hoekstra, prof. dr. F. (Femke) - Researcher (ORCID, PURE, E-mail)
  • Hoekstra, prof. dr. T. (Trynke) - Researcher (ORCID, E-mail)
  • Hettinga, prof. dr. F.J. (Florentina) - Researcher (ORCID, E-mail)



Small profile photo of R. Dekker
Rienk Dekker Professor in Rehabilitation medicine

University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Human movement sciences
PO Box 30.001
9700 RB Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting address
University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Department of Human movement sciences
Hanzeplein 1
9713 GZ Groningen