Movement as medicine for cardiovascular disease prevention: A pilot feasibility study of a physical activity promotion intervention for at-risk patients in primary care

Keegan Knittle, Sarah Charman, Sophie O'Connell, Leah Avery, Mike Catt, Mike Lavender, Falko Sniehotta, Michael Trenell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Physical activity (PA) can reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, and while primary care settings offer a large reach to promote PA and reduce cardiovascular disease risk, primary healthcare professionals may lack self-efficacy and tools to effectively promote PA in practice. Movement as Medicine for CVD Prevention is a suite of two theory-based online behavioural interventions – one for healthcare professionals and one for patients – that may offer a pathway for promoting PA and reducing CVD risk in primary care.

Objective: To examine the feasibility and possible effects of Movement as Medicine for CVD Prevention.

Methods: This non-randomized pilot recruited participants from primary care organisations in Northeast England. Enrolled healthcare professionals followed a theory-based online course in PA counselling and motivational interviewing techniques. After the course, healthcare professionals delivered behaviour change consultations based on motivational interviewing to inactive individuals with >20% risk of developing CVD within 10 years. Patients were then given access to a website based on self-determination and self-regulation theories which targeted increased levels of PA. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and 3 months.

Results: Recruitment rates of primary care organisations fell below expectations. Eleven healthcare professionals from three enrolled primary care organisations completed the online course and reported increases in important theoretical determinants of PA promotion in practice (e.g. self-efficacy (d=1.24; 95%CI: 0.67-1.80) and planning (d=0.85; 95%CI: -0.01-1.69)). Eighty-three patients enrolled in the study, and 58 (70%) completed both baseline and three-month assessments. From baseline to 3 months, patients reported significant increases in objective (d=0.77; 95%CI: 0.13-1.41), but not subjective (d=0.40; 95%CI: -0.03-0.83), moderate-to-vigorous PA, and in the PA determinants intention, self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, action planning and action control (effect sizes ranged from d=0.39 to d=0.60).

Conclusions: Recruitment rates of primary care organisations would need to increase for Movement as Medicine for CVD Prevention to be feasible as a primary care PA promotion pathway. However, the program seems to have the potential to improve important determinants of healthcare professional’s PA promotion practices and patient PA behaviours
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Dec 2021

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