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Physiotherapist-led home-based physical activity program versus community group exercise for middle-aged adults: Quasi-experimental comparison

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.32031    4,520 Downloads   7,014 Views   Citations


Objectives: Program method, program deliverer and participant preference may be important factors in increasing physical activity adherence and program effectiveness. To investigate this, we compared two physical activity interventions in middle-aged adults. Methods: Using a pragmatic quasi-experimental design, sedentary community dwelling 50 - 65 year olds (n = 2105) were recruited to a non-randomized 6-month community group exercise program (n = 93) or a physiotherapist-led home-based physical activity program (n = 65). The primary outcome was physical activity adherence derived from exercise diaries. Secondary outcomes included the Active Australia Survey, aerobic capacity (step- test), quality of life (SF-12v2), blood pressure, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and body mass index. Results: Home-based participants were more likely to be younger, working full-time and not in a relationship (p < 0.05). Thirty-three percent of the group participants attended ≥ 70% of group exercise sessions. Ninety percent of home-based participants received ≥ 4 of the planned 6 telephone support calls. Intention-to-treat analysis found adherence to the physical activity sessions prescribed was the same for both interventions (26% ± 28% vs. 28% ± 35%). Both interventions significantly increased the number of participants achieving self-reported “sufficient” physical activity (p ≤ 0.001) and significantly decreased waist circumference (p < 0.001) and

WHR (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The physiotherapist- led home-based physical activity program, requiring few resources, appears to have increased the adoption of physical activity and adherence to physical activity program requirements for sedentary middle-aged adults. The home-based program, providing equivalent health benefits to the group exercise program, may be particularly suitable for those not interested in or unable to attend a group exercise program. Clinical Trial Registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), ACTRN126 1000890932.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Freene, N. , Waddington, G. , Chesworth, W. , Davey, R. and Cochrane, T. (2013) Physiotherapist-led home-based physical activity program versus community group exercise for middle-aged adults: Quasi-experimental comparison. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 229-237. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.32031.


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