Purpose This paper outlines a service evaluation of an exercise referral scheme for adults suffering from a variety of physical or mental health conditions or who were deemed are at risk of developing such conditions. The evaluation aimed to assess the impact of the scheme at increasing physical activity and at reducing BMI and waist circumference. Method This was a retrospective evaluation looking at levels of physical activity and changes to anthropometric measures over a period of 6 months. Each participant self-reported their levels of physical activity for the previous 7 days at three time points: baseline (T1), at 12-week exit from the scheme (T2), and at 6-month follow-up (T3). Waist circumference and BMI were also recorded by either a health professional or self-reported at these time points. Results Six hundred seventy participants were referred during the evaluation period, of whom 494 were eligible. Of those 494, 211 completed the 12-week scheme and 135 completed a 6-month follow-up. Significant increases in levels of physical activity were recorded between T1 and T2 and between T1 and T3. Furthermore, significant reductions in waist circumference were noted between T1 and T2 and between T1 and T3, and BMI significantly decreased between T1 and T2 but significantly increased between T2 and T3. Conclusion The service has proven effective at increasing levels of physical activity among participants and has had a positive impact on waist circumference and body for clients who remain engaged with the programme.
McGeechan, G., Phillips, D., Wilson, L., Whittaker, V., O’Neill, G., & Newbury-Birch, D. (2017). Service Evaluation of an Exercise on Referral Scheme for Adults with Existing Health Conditions in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, -. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12529-017-9699-3