The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
LVK, EH and MLH conceived and designed the study and provided all data. MLH and LVK carried out the trial. SJGO prepared the data and performed the statistical analysis. EE assisted in the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. MB and LVK contributed to data analysis and interpretation, and, together with SJGO, manuscript finalisation. All authors were involved in reviewing the article and had final approval of the submitted version.
The effects of physical activity on prescription (PAP) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in overweight adults are unclear. We therefore aimed to explore the effects of the Swedish PAP model on HRQoL in overweight older adults.
Participants were recruited from a cohort of men and women born between 1937 and 1938, and living in Stockholm County. Inclusion criteria were; insufficiently physically active, i.e. <30 min of at least moderate intensity physical activity (PA) per day; body mass index >25 kg/m2; and waist circumference ≥102 cm (men) or ≥88 cm (women). Altogether, 101 individuals, aged 67 years, were randomly assigned to two parallel groups: intervention group (n = 47) receiving individualised PAP or control group (n = 54). The 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) was administered before and after the six months intervention. Main outcomes were the SF-36 physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores. Intention to treat analysis was utilised. Regression analysis was performed to assess whether changes in PA and body weight affected changes in HRQoL.
At the six months follow-up, regarding the MCS score, the intervention group had improved significantly more (median: 4.4 [interquartile range (IQR): −2.4 to 23.3]) vs (median: 0.0 [IQR: −4.0 to 4.9]); p < 0.05) and a higher proportion of participants had attained relevant improvements (OR 2.43 (95 % CI 1.00–5.88) p < 0.05) compared to the controls. A within group improvement in the PCS score (median: 3.8 [IQR: −1.9 to 19.5] p < 0.05) was found in the intervention group. Changes in PA and body weight had a small, but significant, mediating effect on the changes in HRQoL.
PAP had a positive effect on HRQoL, measured by the SF-36 MCS, but no significant between group effect was seen on the PCS in overweight older adults. These effects were, to some extent, mediated by changes in PA and body weight. Our findings support clinical use of the Swedish PAP model.