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BMC Fam Pract. 2010 May 19;11:38. doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-11-38.

Factors associated with patients self-reported adherence to prescribed physical activity in routine primary health care.

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  • 1Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University/Region Skåne, Malmö, Sweden. matti.leijon@med.lu.se



Written prescriptions of physical activity have increased in popularity. Such schemes have mostly been evaluated in terms of efficacy in clinical trials. This study reports on a physical activity prescription referral scheme implemented in routine primary health care (PHC) in Sweden. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients' self-reported adherence to physical activity prescriptions at 3 and 12 months and to analyse different characteristics associated with adherence to these prescriptions.


Prospective prescription data were obtained for the general population in 37 of 42 PHC centres in Ostergötland County, during 2004. The study population consisted of 3300.


The average adherence rate to the prescribed activity was 56% at 3 months and 50% at 12 months. In the multiple logistic regression models, higher adherence was associated with higher activity level at baseline and with prescriptions including home-based activities.


Prescription from ordinary PHC staff yielded adherence in half of the patients in this PAR scheme follow-up.

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