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Fam Pract. 1999 Apr;16(2):152-7.

The vagaries of self-reports of physical activity: a problem revisited and addressed in a study of exercise promotion in the over 65s in general practice.

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  • 1Department of General Practice and Primary Care, St George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The assessment of levels of physical activity relies upon suitable measurement tools.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to investigate whether a practice nurse, using a motivational interview technique, could encourage older patients to increase their physical activity.

METHODS:

Health and well-being were monitored at baseline and 8 weeks following intervention. Physical activity levels were ascertained using both a self-report measure and ambulatory heart-rate monitoring.

RESULTS:

Whilst patients reported higher levels of physical activity at follow-up, this finding was not confirmed by the heart-rate data.

CONCLUSION:

The study concludes that patients tend to overestimate the amount of physical activity undertaken and that ambulatory heart-rate monitoring may be more useful for verifying actual behaviour.

PMID:
10381022
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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