OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the effectiveness of a minimal intervention physical activity strategy (physician-based assessment and counseling for exercise [PACE]) applied in general practice settings in the Netherlands.
METHODS: Randomization took place at the general practice level. Participants were patients aged 18-70 years of age who had been diagnosed with hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or non-insulin-dependent diabetes and had not been regularly physically active in the past 6 months. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline and at 8-week, 6-month, and 1-year follow-ups.
RESULTS: No significant intervention effect over time was observed on physical activity level or stage of change for regular physical activity, and an inverse intervention effect was observed for waist circumference. However, the study population as a whole exhibited a significant increase in physical activity and a borderline significant decrease in body weight at the 1-year follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Positive effects on physical activity level and body weight were observed, but the PACE intervention was not more effective than the standard physical activity advice.