Community referral for promoting physical activity among primary care patients
Introduction. There is a need for physical activity interventions based in primary care clinics that take advantage of community resources. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to compare the effects of two physical activity interventions: (1) physical activity prescription by a primary care provider plus referral to community physical activity resources and (2) physical activity prescription only. Methods. Sedentary adult patients recruited from a general medicine clinic were randomized to receive a physical activity prescription, delivered by the primary care provider, plus referral to community physical activity resources (n=38) or physical activity prescription only (n=32). Outcomes were use of community resources (exercise facility and personal trainers), physical activity levels (self-report questionnaire and pedometer), and attitudes regarding physical activity assessed at 8 weeks. Results. Three of 38 (7.9%) subjects referred to the community resources and none of the 32 subjects in the prescription only group used the community resources during the 8 week trial. Sixteen of 32 subjects in the prescription plus referral group and 19 of 38 in the prescription group completed the self-report follow-up forms at 8 weeks. For minutes of moderate- or vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, there were no between-group differences at baseline, follow-up, or change from baseline to follow-up. However, for moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity, there were significant improvements from baseline to follow-up within each group. For attitudes related to physical activity, there were no between-group differences at baseline, follow-up, or change from baseline to follow-up; neither were there any within-group changes. Discussion. Physical activity prescription delivered by a healthcare provider in the context of a routine primary care visit can improve physical activity levels, with no additional improvement gained by referring to community resources. The intervention was feasible for primary care providers to deliver, but only 50% of subjects returned the self-report physical activity questionnaire at the 8 week assessment.
Hwang, Kevin O, "Community referral for promoting physical activity among primary care patients" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454396.