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Health Psychol. 2001 Nov;20(6):438-44.

Telephone versus mail interventions for maintenance of physical activity in older adults.

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  • 1Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94304-1583, USA.


Although telephone and mail are often used to promote physical activity adoption, their ability to produce long-term maintenance is unclear. In this study, 140 men and women aged 50-65 years received 1 year of telephone counseling to adopt higher (i.e., more vigorous) versus lower intensity (i.e., moderate) exercise. After 1 year, participants were rerandomized to a 2nd year of contact via (a) telephone and mail or (b) predominantly mail. Participants who were prescribed higher intensity exercise and received predominantly mail had better exercise adherence during the maintenance year than those who received telephone and mail. Both strategies were similarly effective in promoting maintenance in the lower intensity condition. Results suggest that after successful adoption of physical activity with the help of telephone counseling, less intensive interventions are successful for physical activity maintenance in older adults.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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