Navigation Links
'Weak evidence' to support exercise referrals
Date:11/6/2011

Research commissioned by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and carried out by research teams from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) and the Universities of Exeter (Sport and Health Sciences) and Brunel (Health Economics Research Group), has called into question the effectiveness of exercise referral schemes as they are delivered at present.

The study is published in the British Medical Journal on-line on Monday 7th November and in press on Friday 12th November.

The findings of the study indicate that there is 'weak evidence' to support exercise referral schemes as a means of increasing the physical activity and improving the health outcomes of sedentary individuals in the long run. The results of the study do not diminish the importance of physical activity promotion but highlight the need to continue to identify cost effective ways to change population prevalence.

There is little doubt that physical activity contributes to the prevention and management of a wide range of medical conditions, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and psychological disorders such as depression. The national recommendation is that adults should accumulate at least 30 minutes' moderate intensity exercise on at least five days a week but only one third of adults in the UK are active to this level.

Exercise referral schemes, where GPs or another member of Primary Care team are able to refer selected patients to exercise specialist often at local gyms and other sports centres, have been part of the arsenal for the prevention and management of medical conditions since the early 1990s.

Few randomised control trials have specifically assessed the impact of exercise referral schemes. Those that have taken place have failed to investigate the health-related benefits (such as changes in blood pressure or depression) exclusively for people with pre-existing conditions such as those with high blood pressure, or depression and who may be most likely to benefit from a scheme.

The research was commissioned on the back of a 2006 review of brief physical activity intervention by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that called for more controlled research into the effectiveness of exercise referral schemes.

The research team carried out a systematic review that identified eight randomised controlled trials on exercise referral schemes.

These studies showed weak evidence for short-term (i.e. up to 12-months' follow up) increases in physical activity and reductions in the levels of depression, in sedentary individuals after they had taken part in an exercise referral scheme compared to those who received simply advice. There was no demonstrable difference between taking part in an exercise referral scheme or other physical activity promotion intervention such as a walking programme. The review found no consistent evidence in favour of exercise referral schemes in terms of benefits such as physical fitness, psychological well-being, overall health-related quality of life, blood pressure, serum lipid levels, measures of obesity, glycaemic control of respiratory function.

Some studies included participants with pre-existing medical conditions (such as hypertension, or depression) but the effects of the exercise referral scheme on related outcomes for sub-groups of participants with specific conditions was not reported.

The review supports previous NICE guidance that there is insufficient evidence to support the widespread adoption of exercise referral schemes. However, the research team has shown that there remains some uncertainties in this evidence base, in particular the potential impact of exercise referral schemes in sedentary populations with a pre-existing medical diagnosis, and therefore, further trials in such groups may be informative.

Dr. Toby Pavey, Associate Research Fellow in the Peninsula Technology Assessment Group at PCMD who coordinated the study, said: "Our study does not question the importance of physical activity for good health: what it does do is question the effectiveness of the exercise referral programme as it is delivered at present. It is clear that with increasing pressure on NHS budgets and changes to the way in which services are commissioned as part of current NHS reforms, more work needs to be done to establish how existing referral programmes may be made more effective and who should they be targeted towards."

This paper reflects part of a NIHR HTA commissioned review assessing the clinical and cost-effectiveness of exercise referral schemes, due to be published in the HTA Journal in December.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andrew Gould
andrew.gould@pcmd.ac.uk
44-139-268-6107
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Tweaking withdrawal of rheumatoid arthritis medications before surgeries may reduce disease flares
2. Extra Pounds Linked to Weaker Legs in Older Women
3. UCSF study identifies weakness in heart attack therapy
4. Aging authorities differ on tweaks to Social Securitys benefit structure
5. New therapy may help people with unexplained symptoms of pain, weakness and fatigue
6. Researchers discover biochemical weakness of malaria parasite -- vaccine to be developed
7. Heart Failure, Weak Bones Often Go Together, Study Finds
8. Evidence Weak to Support Many Medications for Autism: Study
9. Teens Weight Loss Surgery May Weaken Bones
10. Weaker Bones, Cellphone Use Linked in Small Study
11. Malarias weakest link
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... FlexiSpot, a ... its 60-day free trial program for all of the company’s desktop riser products. ... truly hassle free experience. , FlexiSpot’s unique desktop risers use an advanced dual ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... The annual time frame ... (or Annual Election Period), is ending December 7th. Currently-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries who are looking ... prescription drug plan (Part D) need to make changes during this period order for ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... With the number of pain management programs available ... must find the one that works for them. When an inventor from Suisun City, ... worked and decided to share it with others. , He developed a prototype for ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Hills, CA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 ... ... reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills, California, will be included in the 2016 “Guide ... given to exceptional professionals based on the amalgamation of their education, experience, and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet is ... USA Today, which covers the innovative treatments, therapeutic technologies, and revolutionized nutrition that ... “We are prolonging life 6 years in the last 3 decades,” says Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 2, 2016 Lianluo Smart ... or "the Company") which develops, markets and sells ... China and international markets, ... Diagnosis and Treatment New Progress Forum, co-hosted by ... Guangdong Province , Guangdong Provincial People,s Hospital ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 On ... down 1.36%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.36% higher, ... 2,191.08, down 0.35%. Losses were broad based as six out ... has initiated research reports on the following Services equities: Myriad ... QGEN ), INC Research Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... OLD LYME, Conn. , Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... consulting, has announced the honor of being selected as ... that include: Simpson Healthcare Executives Website at the PLATINUM ... Directed Conversations Training Module at the GOLD Level, and ... At Simpson Healthcare Executives, we are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: