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1.  Efficacy of GP referral of insufficiently active patients for expert physical activity counseling: protocol for a pragmatic randomized trial (The NewCOACH trial) 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15(1):218.
Physical inactivity is fourth in the list of risk factors for global mortality. General practitioners are well placed to offer physical activity counseling but insufficient time is a barrier. Although referral to an exercise specialist is an alternative, in Australia, these allied health professionals are only publicly funded to provide face-to-face counseling to patients who have an existing chronic illness. Accordingly, this trial aims to determine the efficacy of GP referral of insufficiently active patients (regardless of their chronic disease status) for physical activity counseling (either face-to-face or predominately via telephone) by exercise specialists, based on patients’ objectively assessed physical activity levels, compared with usual care. If the trial is efficacious, the equivalence and cost-effectiveness of face-to-face counseling versus telephone counseling will be assessed.
This three arm pragmatic randomized trial will involve the recruitment of 261 patients from primary care clinics in metropolitan and regional areas of New South Wales, Australia. Insufficiently active (less than 7000 steps/day) consenting adult patients will be randomly assigned to: 1) five face-to-face counseling sessions, 2) one face-to-face counseling session followed by four telephone calls, or 3) a generic mailed physical activity brochure (usual care). The interventions will operationalize social cognitive theory via a behavior change counseling framework. Participants will complete a survey and seven days of pedometry at baseline, and at three and 12 months post-randomization. The primary analyses will be based on intention-to-treat principles and will compare: (i) mean change in average daily step counts between baseline and 12 months for the combined intervention group (Group 1: face-to-face, and Group 2: telephone) and usual care (Group 3); (ii) step counts at 3 months post-randomization. Secondary outcomes include: self-reported physical activity, sedentary behavior, quality of life, and depression.
If referral of primary care patients to exercise specialists increases physical activity, this process offers the prospect of systematically and sustainably reaching a large proportion of insufficiently active adults. If shown to be efficacious this trial provides evidence to expand public funding beyond those with a chronic disease and for delivery via telephone as well as face-to-face consultations.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000884909.
PMCID: PMC4305254  PMID: 25543688
Physical activity; Primary care; Referral; Pedometry
2.  Population-Based Estimates of Physical Activity for Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Cautionary Tale of Potential Confounding by Weight Status  
Journal of Obesity  2010;2011:561432.
At a population level, the method used to determine those meeting physical activity guidelines has important implications, as estimating “sufficient” physical activity might be confounded by weight status. The objective of this study was to test the difference between three methods in estimating the prevalence of “sufficient activity” among Canadian adults with type 2 diabetes in a large population sample (N = 1614) while considering the role of weight status as a potential confounder. Our results revealed that estimates of physical activity levels vary by BMI categories, depending on the methods examined. Although physical activity levels were lower in the obese, their energy expenditure estimates were not different from those who were overweight or of a healthy weight. The implications of these findings are that biased estimates of physical activity at a population level may result in inappropriate classification of adults with type 2 diabetes as “sufficiently active” and that the inclusion of body weight in estimating physical activity prevalence should be approached with caution.
PMCID: PMC2943130  PMID: 20871829
3.  Community-Based Physical Activity Interventions for Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis 
Evidence suggests engaging in regular physical activity (PA) can have beneficial outcomes for adults with type 2 diabetes (TD2), including weight loss, reduction of medication usage and improvements in hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)/fasting glucose. While a number of clinical-based PA interventions exist, community-based approaches are limited. The objective of this study is to conduct a systematic review with meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of community-based PA interventions for the treatment of TD2 in adult populations. A search of peer-reviewed publications from 2002 to June 2012 was conducted across several electronic databases to identify interventions evaluated in community settings. Twenty-two studies were identified, and 11 studies reporting HbA1c as an outcome measure were pooled in the meta-analysis. Risk of bias assessment was also conducted. The findings demonstrate community-based PA interventions can be effective in producing increases in PA. Meta-analysis revealed a lowering of HbA1c levels by −0.32% [95% CI −0.65, 0.01], which approached statistical significance (p < 0.06). Our findings can guide future PA community-based interventions in adult populations diagnosed with TD2.
PMCID: PMC3557414  PMID: 23372566
type two diabetes; physical activity; community-based intervention; treatment; HbA1c
4.  My Activity Coach – Using video-coaching to assist a web-based computer-tailored physical activity intervention: a randomised controlled trial protocol 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:738.
There is a need for effective population-based physical activity interventions. The internet provides a good platform to deliver physical activity interventions and reach large numbers of people at low cost. Personalised advice in web-based physical activity interventions has shown to improve engagement and behavioural outcomes, though it is unclear if the effectiveness of such interventions may further be improved when providing brief video-based coaching sessions with participants. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness, in terms of engagement, retention, satisfaction and physical activity changes, of a web-based and computer-tailored physical activity intervention with and without the addition of a brief video-based coaching session in comparison to a control group.
Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups (tailoring + online video-coaching, tailoring-only and wait-list control). The tailoring + video-coaching participants will receive a computer-tailored web-based physical activity intervention (‘My Activity Coach’) with brief coaching sessions with a physical activity expert over an online video calling program (e.g. Skype). The tailoring-only participants will receive the intervention but not the counselling sessions. The primary time point’s for outcome assessment will be immediately post intervention (week 9). The secondary time points will be at 6 and 12 months post-baseline. The primary outcome, physical activity change, will be assessed via the Active Australia Questionnaire (AAQ). Secondary outcome measures include correlates of physical activity (mediators and moderators), quality of life (measured via the SF-12v2), participant satisfaction, engagement (using web-site user statistics) and study retention.
Study findings will inform researchers and practitioners about the feasibility and effectiveness of brief online video-coaching sessions in combination with computer-tailored physical activity advice. This may increase intervention effectiveness at an acceptable cost and will inform the development of future web-based physical activity interventions.
Trial registration
ACTRN12614000339651Date: 31/03/2014.
PMCID: PMC4223369  PMID: 25047900
Physical activity; Intervention; Behaviour change; Web-based; Internet; Video calling; Skype; Coaching
5.  Associations between program outcomes and adherence to Social Cognitive Theory tasks: process evaluation of the SHED-IT community weight loss trial for men 
Despite rising international rates of obesity, men remain reluctant to participate in weight loss research. There is a lack of evidence to guide the development of effective weight loss interventions that engage men. The objective of this study was to provide a comprehensive process evaluation of the SHED-IT (Self-Help, Exercise and Diet using Information Technology) weight loss program for men, as delivered in the SHED-IT community weight loss trial, and to identify key components associated with success.
In an assessor-blinded randomised controlled trial, 159 overweight and obese men (BMI 25.0-40.0 kg/m2) were randomised to one of two gender-tailored weight loss interventions with no face-to-face contact, or a control group. The interventions were informed by Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) with men encouraged to complete a Support Book containing SCT-based tasks including goal setting, reward setting, creation of social support strategies and self-monitoring of: i) weight, ii) physical activity, and iii) diet. At post-test, compliance with SCT tasks was examined and men also completed a process evaluation questionnaire.
Both SHED-IT intervention groups demonstrated greater weight loss during the intervention compared to the control, with no difference between intervention groups. Most men engaged with the SCT tasks although compliance declined over time and utilisation of social support networks and reward selection was poor. In a multiple regression model, the number of goals set (β [95% CI] = -0.3 [-0.6, -0.1], p = 0.01) and the number of weight records documented (β [95% CI] = -0.2 [-0.4, -0.0], p = 0.03) independently predicted weight loss. The process evaluation indicated that men found the programs to be supportive, enjoyable and beneficial.
This process evaluation provides valuable information to inform the development of obesity treatment strategies that engage men. Future studies with men should include a strong focus on self-monitoring and goal setting to enhance behaviour change and improve treatment effects.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610000699066.
PMCID: PMC4105870  PMID: 25011421
Social cognitive theory; Men; Obesity; Online; Process evaluation; Weight loss
6.  Do Participants’ Preferences for Mode of Delivery (Text, Video, or Both) Influence the Effectiveness of a Web-Based Physical Activity Intervention? 
In randomized controlled trials, participants cannot choose their preferred intervention delivery mode and thus might refuse to participate or not engage fully if assigned to a nonpreferred group. This might underestimate the true effectiveness of behavior-change interventions.
To examine whether receiving interventions either matched or mismatched with participants’ preferred delivery mode would influence effectiveness of a Web-based physical activity intervention.
Adults (n = 863), recruited via email, were randomly assigned to one of three intervention delivery modes (text based, video based, or combined) and received fully automated, Internet-delivered personal advice about physical activity. Personalized intervention content, based on the theory of planned behavior and stages of change concept, was identical across groups. Online, self-assessed questionnaires measuring physical activity were completed at baseline, 1 week, and 1 month. Physical activity advice acceptability and website usability were assessed at 1 week. Before randomization, participants were asked which delivery mode they preferred, to categorize them as matched or mismatched. Time spent on the website was measured throughout the intervention. We applied intention-to-treat, repeated-measures analyses of covariance to assess group differences.
Attrition was high (575/863, 66.6%), though equal between groups (t 86 3 =1.31, P =.19). At 1-month follow-up, 93 participants were categorized as matched and 195 as mismatched. They preferred text mode (493/803, 61.4%) over combined (216/803, 26.9%) and video modes (94/803, 11.7%). After the intervention, 20% (26/132) of matched-group participants and 34% (96/282) in the mismatched group changed their delivery mode preference. Time effects were significant for all physical activity outcomes (total physical activity: F 2,801 = 5.07, P = .009; number of activity sessions: F 2,801 = 7.52, P < .001; walking: F 2,801 = 8.32, P < .001; moderate physical activity: F 2,801 = 9.53, P < .001; and vigorous physical activity: F 2,801 = 6.04, P = .002), indicating that physical activity increased over time for both matched and mismatched groups. Matched-group participants improved physical activity outcomes slightly more than those in the mismatched group, but interaction effects were not significant. Physical activity advice acceptability (content scale: t 368 = .10, P = .92; layout scale: t 368 = 1.53, P = .12) and website usability (layout scale: t 426 = .05, P = .96; ease of use scale: t 426 = .21, P = .83) were generally high and did not differ between the matched and mismatched groups. The only significant difference (t 621 = 2.16, P = .03) was in relation to total time spent on the website: the mismatched group spent significantly more time on the website (14.4 minutes) than the matched group (12.1 minutes).
Participants’ preference regarding delivery mode may not significantly influence intervention outcomes. Consequently, allowing participants to choose their preferred delivery mode may not increase effectiveness of Web-based interventions.
PMCID: PMC3374539  PMID: 22377834
Physical activity: computer tailoring; mismatch; preferences; delivery method; website-delivered intervention; behavior-change intervention
7.  Fundamental movement skills and physical activity among children living in low-income communities: a cross-sectional study 
Although previous studies have demonstrated that children with high levels of fundamental movement skill competency are more active throughout the day, little is known regarding children’s fundamental movement skill competency and their physical activity during key time periods of the school day (i.e., lunchtime, recess and after-school). The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between fundamental movement skill competency and objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) throughout the school day among children attending primary schools in low-income communities.
Eight primary schools from low-income communities and 460 children (8.5 ± 0.6 years, 54% girls) were involved in the study. Children’s fundamental movement skill competency (TGMD-2; 6 locomotor and 6 object-control skills), objectively measured physical activity (ActiGraph GT3X and GT3X + accelerometers), height, weight and demographics were assessed. Multilevel linear mixed models were used to assess the cross-sectional associations between fundamental movement skills and MVPA.
After adjusting for age, sex, BMI and socio-economic status, locomotor skill competency was positively associated with total (P = 0.002, r = 0.15) and after-school (P = 0.014, r = 0.13) MVPA. Object-control skill competency was positively associated with total (P < 0.001, r = 0.20), lunchtime (P = 0.03, r = 0.10), recess (P = 0.006, r = 0.11) and after-school (P = 0.022, r = 0.13) MVPA.
Object-control skill competency appears to be a better predictor of children’s MVPA during school-based physical activity opportunities than locomotor skill competency. Improving fundamental movement skill competency, particularly object-control skills, may contribute to increased levels of children’s MVPA throughout the day.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12611001080910.
PMCID: PMC4234279  PMID: 24708604
School; Object-control; Locomotor; Lunchtime; Recess; After-school
8.  Do Personally Tailored Videos in a Web-Based Physical Activity Intervention Lead to Higher Attention and Recall? – An Eye-Tracking Study 
Over half of the Australian population does not meet physical activity guidelines and has an increased risk of chronic disease. Web-based physical activity interventions have the potential to reach large numbers of the population at low-cost, however issues have been identified with usage and participant retention. Personalized (computer-tailored) physical activity advice delivered through video has the potential to address low engagement, however it is unclear whether it is more effective in engaging participants when compared to text-delivered personalized advice. This study compared the attention and recall outcomes of tailored physical activity advice in video- vs. text-format. Participants (n = 41) were randomly assigned to receive either video- or text-tailored feedback with identical content. Outcome measures included attention to the feedback, measured through advanced eye-tracking technology (TobiiX 120), and recall of the advice, measured through a post intervention interview. Between group ANOVA’s, Mann–Whitney U tests and chi square analyses were applied. Participants in the video-group displayed greater attention to the physical activity feedback in terms of gaze-duration on the feedback (7.7 vs. 3.6 min, p < 001), total fixation-duration on the feedback (6.0 vs. 3.3 min, p < 001), and focusing on feedback (6.8 vs. 3.5 min, p < 001). Despite both groups having the same ability to navigate through the feedback, the video-group completed a significantly (p < 0.001) higher percentage of feedback sections (95%) compared to the text-group (66%). The main messages were recalled in both groups, but many details were forgotten. No significant between group differences were found for message recall. These results suggest that video-tailored feedback leads to greater attention compared to text-tailored feedback. More research is needed to determine how message recall can be improved, and whether video-tailored advice can lead to greater health behavior change.
PMCID: PMC3921670  PMID: 24575398
physical activity; health promotion; web-based; eye-tracking; tailoring
9.  Enhancing capacity for risk factor surveillance at the regional/local level: a follow-up review of the findings of the Canadian Think Tank Forum after 4 years 
National health surveys are sometimes used to provide estimates on risk factors for policy and program development at the regional/local level. However, as regional/local needs may differ from national ones, an important question is how to also enhance capacity for risk factor surveillance regionally/locally.
A Think Tank Forum was convened in Canada to discuss the needs, characteristics, coordination, tools and next steps to build capacity for regional/local risk factor surveillance. A series of follow up activities to review the relevant issues pertaining to needs, characteristics and capacity of risk factor surveillance were conducted.
Results confirmed the need for a regional/local risk factor surveillance system that is flexible, timely, of good quality, having a communication plan, and responsive to local needs. It is important to conduct an environmental scan and a gap analysis, to develop a common vision, to build central and local coordination and leadership, to build on existing tools and resources, and to use innovation.
Findings of the Think Tank Forum are important for building surveillance capacity at the local/county level, both in Canada and globally. This paper provides a follow-up review of the findings based on progress over the last 4 years.
PMCID: PMC3916079  PMID: 24451555
Public health surveillance; Capacity building; Behavioural risk factors
10.  Efficacy of interventions that include diet, aerobic and resistance training components for type 2 diabetes prevention: a systematic review with meta-analysis 
Current recommendations for the prevention of type 2 diabetes advise modification of diet and exercise behaviors including both aerobic and resistance training. However, the efficacy of multi-component interventions involving a combination of these three components has not been established. The aims of this review were to systematically review and meta-analyze the evidence on multi-component (diet + aerobic exercise + resistance training) lifestyle interventions for type 2 diabetes prevention. Eight electronic databases (Medline, Embase, SportDiscus, Web of Science, CINAHL, Informit health collection, Cochrane library and Scopus) were searched up to June 2013. Eligible studies 1) recruited prediabetic adults or individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes; 2) conducted diet and exercise [including both physical activity/aerobic and resistance training] programs; and 3) reported weight and plasma glucose outcomes. In total, 23 articles from eight studies were eligible including five randomized controlled trials, one quasi-experimental, one two-group comparison and one single-group pre-post study. Four studies had a low risk of bias (score ≥ 6/10). Median intervention length was 12 months (range 4–48 months) with a follow-up of 18 months (range 6.5 - 48 months). The diet and exercise interventions varied slightly in terms of their specific prescriptions. Meta-analysis favored interventions over controls for weight loss (-3.79 kg [-6.13, -1.46; 95% CI], Z = 3.19, P = 0.001) and fasting plasma glucose (-0.13 mmol.L-1 [-0.24, -0.02; 95% CI], Z = 2.42, P = 0.02). Diabetes incidence was only reported in two studies, with reductions of 58% and 56% versus control groups. In summary, multi-component lifestyle type 2 diabetes prevention interventions that include diet and both aerobic and resistance exercise training are modestly effective in inducing weight loss and improving impaired fasting glucose, glucose tolerance, dietary and exercise outcomes in at risk and prediabetic adult populations. These results support the current exercise guidelines for the inclusion of resistance training in type 2 diabetes prevention, however there remains a need for more rigorous studies, with long-term follow-up evaluating program efficacy, muscular fitness outcomes, diabetes incidence and risk reduction.
PMCID: PMC3898566  PMID: 24423095
Prediabetes; Diabetes; Obesity; Lifestyle; Weight loss; Diet; Exercise; Resistance training
11.  Theory-and evidence-based development and process evaluation of the Move More for Life program: a tailored-print intervention designed to promote physical activity among post-treatment breast cancer survivors 
Several physical activity interventions have been effective in improving the health outcomes of breast cancer survivors. However, few interventions have provided detailed descriptions regarding how such interventions work. To develop evidence-based practice in this field, detailed descriptions of intervention development and delivery is needed. This paper aims to (1) describe the theory-and evidence-based development of the Move More for Life program, a physical activity program for breast cancer survivors; and (2) serve as an exemplar for theory-based applied research.
The program-planning model outlined by Kreuter and colleagues was used to develop the computer-tailored intervention.
The tailoring guide developed by Kreuter and colleagues served as a useful program planning tool in terms of integrating theory and evidence-based best practice into intervention strategies. Overall, participants rated the intervention positively, with the majority reporting that the tailored materials caught their attention, were personally relevant to them, and were useful for helping them to change their behaviour. However, there was considerable room for improvement.
The Move More for Life program is an example of a theory-based, low-cost and potentially sustainable strategy to physical activity promotion and may stand as an exemplar for Social Cognitive Theory-based applied research. By providing a detailed description of the development of the Move More for Life program, a critical evaluation of the working mechanisms of the intervention is possible, and will guide researchers in the replication or adaption and re-application of the specified techniques. This has potential implications for researchers examining physical activity promotion among cancer survivors and for researchers exploring distance-based physical activity promotion techniques among other populations.
Trial registrations
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) identifier: ACTRN12611001061921.
PMCID: PMC4228316  PMID: 24192320
Physical activity; Intervention development; Social cognitive theory; Breast cancer survivors; Tailored-print
12.  A qualitative synthesis of trials promoting physical activity behaviour change among post-treatment breast cancer survivors 
Journal of Cancer Survivorship  2013;7(4):570-581.
Health outcome trials have provided strong evidence that participating in regular physical activity can improve the quality of life and health of post-treatment breast cancer survivors. Focus is now needed on how to promote changes in physical activity behaviour among this group.
This systematic review examines the efficacy of behavioural interventions for promoting physical activity among post-treatment breast cancer survivors.
Behavioural intervention studies published up until July 2012 were identified through a systematic search of two databases: MEDLINE and CINAHL, and by searching reference lists of relevant publications and scanning citation libraries of project staff.
Eight out of the ten identified studies reported positive intervention effects on aerobic physical activity behaviour, ranging from during the intervention period to 6 months post-intervention. Only two studies reported intervention effect sizes. The identification of factors related to efficacy was not possible because of the limited number and heterogeneity of studies included, as well as the lack of effect sizes reported. Nonetheless, an examination of the eight studies that did yield significant intervention effects suggests that 12-week interventions employing behaviour change techniques (e.g., self-monitoring and goal setting) derived from a variety of theories and delivered in a variety of settings (i.e., one-on-one, group or home) can be effective at changing the aerobic physical activity behaviour of breast cancer survivors in the mid- to long terms.
Behavioural interventions do hold promise for effectively changing physical activity behaviour among breast cancer survivors. However, future research is needed to address the lack of studies exploring long-term intervention effects, mediators of intervention effects and interventions promoting resistance-training activity, and to address issues impacting on validity, such as the limited use of objective physical activity measures and the use of convenience samples.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
Identifying effective ways of assisting breast cancer survivors to adopt and maintain physical activity is important for enhancing the well-being and health outcomes of this group.
PMCID: PMC3838584  PMID: 23888337
Behaviour change interventions; Breast cancer; Randomised controlled trials
14.  Development and reliability testing of a self-report instrument to measure the office layout as a correlate of occupational sitting 
Spatial configurations of office environments assessed by Space Syntax methodologies are related to employee movement patterns. These methods require analysis of floors plans which are not readily available in large population-based studies or otherwise unavailable. Therefore a self-report instrument to assess spatial configurations of office environments using four scales was developed.
The scales are: local connectivity (16 items), overall connectivity (11 items), visibility of co-workers (10 items), and proximity of co-workers (5 items). A panel cohort (N = 1154) completed an online survey, only data from individuals employed in office-based occupations (n = 307) were used to assess scale measurement properties. To assess test-retest reliability a separate sample of 37 office-based workers completed the survey on two occasions 7.7 (±3.2) days apart. Redundant scale items were eliminated using factor analysis; Chronbach’s α was used to evaluate internal consistency and test re-test reliability (retest-ICC). ANOVA was employed to examine differences between office types (Private, Shared, Open) as a measure of construct validity. Generalized Linear Models were used to examine relationships between spatial configuration scales and the duration of and frequency of breaks in occupational sitting.
The number of items on all scales were reduced, Chronbach’s α and ICCs indicated good scale internal consistency and test re-test reliability: local connectivity (5 items; α = 0.70; retest-ICC = 0.84), overall connectivity (6 items; α = 0.86; retest-ICC = 0.87), visibility of co-workers (4 items; α = 0.78; retest-ICC = 0.86), and proximity of co-workers (3 items; α = 0.85; retest-ICC = 0.70). Significant (p ≤ 0.001) differences, in theoretically expected directions, were observed for all scales between office types, except overall connectivity. Significant associations were observed between all scales and occupational sitting behaviour (p ≤ 0.05).
All scales have good measurement properties indicating the instrument may be a useful alternative to Space Syntax to examine environmental correlates of occupational sitting in population surveys.
PMCID: PMC3576330  PMID: 23379485
Sitting; Correlates; Workplace; Environment; Spatial configuration
15.  Correlates of physical activity in a population-based sample of kidney cancer survivors: an application of the theory of planned behavior 
Over half of kidney cancer survivors (KCS) are completely inactive and only a quarter are meeting physical activity (PA) guidelines. This highlights the need to identify and understand the determinants of PA in this understudied population. The purpose of this study is to determine the social cognitive correlates of PA intention and behavior in KCS using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB).
All 1,985 KCS diagnosed between 1996 and 2010 in Alberta, Canada were mailed a self-report survey that consisted of the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire and standard TPB items for intention, planning, perceived behavioral control (PBC), affective and instrumental attitudes, and descriptive and injunctive norms. Standard demographic and medical variables were also collected.
Completed surveys were received from 703 of 1,654 (43%) eligible KCS. The TPB was tested using structural equation modelling and demonstrated an adequate-to-good fit to the data [χ² = 256.88, p < .001; TLI = 0.97; CFI = 0.98; RMSEA = 0.06, 90% CI = 0.05-0.06].
There were significant pathways to PA from PBC (ß = 0.18, p = 0.02), planning (ß = 0.22, p < 0.01), and intention (ß = 0.31, p < 0.01); and to planning from intention (ß = 0.81, p < 0.01). In addition, there were significant model pathways to intention from instrumental attitude (ß = 0.28, p = 0.03), descriptive norm (ß = 0.09, p = 0.01), and PBC (ß = 0.52, p < 0.01). Overall, the TPB accounted for 69%, 63%, and 42% of the variance in intention, planning and PA, respectively.
The TPB appears to be a useful model for explaining PA in KCS. All TPB constructs except injunctive norm and affective attitude were useful for explaining intention with PBC emerging as the largest correlate. Developing PA interventions based on the TPB may be effective in promoting PA in KCS and may lead to important improvements in health.
PMCID: PMC3489870  PMID: 22866956
Exercise; Motivation; Social cognitive models; Correlates
16.  Healthy eating and active living for diabetes in primary care networks (HEALD-PCN): rationale, design, and evaluation of a pragmatic controlled trial for adults with type 2 diabetes 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:455.
While strong and consistent evidence supports the role of lifestyle modification in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), the best strategies for program implementation to support lifestyle modification within primary care remain to be determined. The objective of the study is to evaluate the implementation of an evidence-based self- management program for patients with T2DM within a newly established primary care network (PCN) environment.
Using a non-randomized design, participants (total N = 110 per group) will be consecutively allocated in bi-monthly blocks to either a 6-month self-management program lead by an Exercise Specialist or to usual care. Our primary outcome is self-reported physical activity and pedometer steps.
The present study will assess whether a diabetes self-management program lead by an Exercise Specialist provided within a newly emerging model of primary care and linked to available community-based resources, can lead to positive changes in self-management behaviours for adults with T2DM. Ultimately, our work will serve as a platform upon which an emerging model of primary care can incorporate effective and efficient chronic disease management practices that are sustainable through partnerships with local community partners.
Clinical Trials Registration identifier: NCT00991380
PMCID: PMC3441468  PMID: 22712881
Type 2 diabetes; Primary care; Physical activity; Diet; Exercise specialist; Health service research
17.  Rationale and study protocol for the supporting children’s outcomes using rewards, exercise and skills (SCORES) group randomized controlled trial: A physical activity and fundamental movement skills intervention for primary schools in low-income communities 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:427.
Many Australian children are insufficiently active to accrue health benefits and physical activity (PA) levels are consistently lower among youth of low socio-economic position. PA levels decline dramatically during adolescence and evidence suggests that competency in a range of fundamental movement skills (FMS) may serve as a protective factor against this trend.
The Supporting Children’s Outcomes Using Rewards Exercise and Skills (SCORES) intervention is a multi-component PA and FMS intervention for primary schools in low-income communities, which will be evaluated using a group randomized controlled trial. The socio-ecological model provided a framework for the 12-month intervention, which includes the following components: teacher professional learning, student leadership workshops (including leadership accreditation and rewards, e.g., stickers, water bottles), PA policy review, PA equipment packs, parental engagement via newsletters, FMS homework and a parent evening, and community partnerships with local sporting organizations. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 6- and 12-months. The primary outcomes are PA (accelerometers), FMS (Test of Gross Motor Development II) and cardiorespiratory fitness (multi-stage fitness test). Secondary outcomes include body mass index [using weight (kg)/height (m2)], perceived competence, physical self-esteem, and resilience. Individual and environmental mediators of behavior change (e.g. social support and enjoyment) will also be assessed. The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time will be used to assess the impact of the intervention on PA within physical education lessons. Statistical analyses will follow intention-to-treat principles and hypothesized mediators of PA behavior change will be explored.
SCORES is an innovative primary school-based PA and FMS intervention designed to support students attending schools in low-income communities to be more skilled and active. The findings from the study may be used to guide teacher pre-service education, professional learning and school policy in primary schools.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12611001080910
PMCID: PMC3490777  PMID: 22691451
18.  One-on-one lifestyle coaching for managing adolescent obesity: Findings from a pilot, randomized controlled trial in a real-world, clinical setting 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2011;16(6):345-350.
Interventions for obese adolescents in real-world, clinical settings need to be evaluated because most weight management care occurs in this context.
To determine whether a lifestyle intervention that includes motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy (Health Initiatives Program [HIP]) leads to weight management that is superior to a similar lifestyle intervention (Youth Lifestyle Program [YLP]) that does not include these techniques; and to determine whether the HIP and YLP interventions are superior to a wait list control (WLC) group.
Obese adolescents were randomly assigned to a YLP (n=15), HIP (n=17) or WLC (n=14) group. The YLP and HIP were 16-session, one-on-one interventions. The primary outcome was the percentage change of body mass index z-score.
Completers-only analyses revealed 3.9% (YLP) and 6.5% (HIP) decreases in the percentage change of body mass index z-score compared with a 0.8% (WLC) increase (P<0.001). Levels of attrition did not differ among groups, but were relatively high (approximately 20% to 40%).
Lifestyle interventions delivered in a real-world, clinical setting led to short-term improvements in the obesity status of adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3328223  PMID: 22654546
Adolescent; Intervention; Obesity
19.  Geography Influences Dietary Intake, Physical Activity and Weight Status of Adolescents 
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to assess rural and urban differences in the dietary intakes, physical activity levels and weight status of a large sample of Canadian youth in both 2005 and 2008. Materials and Methods. A cross-sectional study of rural and urban adolescents (n = 10, 023) in Alberta was conducted in both 2005 and 2008 using a web-based survey. Results. There was an overall positive change in nutrient intakes between 2005 and 2008; however, rural residents generally had a poorer nutrient profile than urban residents (P < .001). They consumed less fibre and a greater percent energy from saturated fat. The mean physical activity scores increased among rural youth between 2005 and 2008 (P < .001), while remaining unchanged among urban youth. Residence was significantly related to weight status in 2005 (P = .017), but not in 2008. Conclusion. Although there were small improvements in nutrient intakes from 2005 to 2008, several differences in the lifestyle behaviours of adolescents living in rural and urban areas were found. The results of this study emphasize the importance of making policy and program recommendations to support healthy lifestyle behaviours within the context of the environments in which adolescents live.
PMCID: PMC3366226  PMID: 22685637
20.  Move more for life: the protocol for a randomised efficacy trial of a tailored-print physical activity intervention for post-treatment breast cancer survivors 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:172.
Due to early detection and advances in treatment, the number of women surviving breast cancer is increasing. Whilst there are many positive aspects of improved survival, breast cancer survival is associated with many long-term health and psychosocial sequelae. Engaging in regular physical activity post-diagnosis can reduce this burden. Despite this evidence, the majority of breast cancer survivors do not engage in regular physical activity. The challenge is to provide breast cancer survivors with appealing and effective physical activity support in a sustainable and cost-effective way. This article describes the protocol for the Move More for Life Study, which aims to assess the relative efficacy of two promising theory-based, print interventions designed to promote regular physical activity amongst breast cancer survivors.
Method and design
Breast cancer survivors were recruited from across Australia. Participants will be randomised into one of three groups: (1) A tailored-print intervention group, (2) a targeted-print intervention group, or (3) a standard recommendation control group. Participants in the tailored-print intervention group will receive 3 tailored newsletters in the mail over a three month period. Participants in the targeted-print group will receive a previously developed physical activity guidebook designed specifically for breast cancer survivors immediately after baseline. Participants in the standard recommendation control will receive a brochure detailing the physical activity guidelines for Australian adults. All participants will be assessed at baseline, and at 4 and 10 months post-baseline. Intervention efficacy for changing the primary outcomes (mins/wk aerobic physical activity; sessions/exercises per week resistance physical activity) and secondary outcomes (steps per day, health-related quality life, compliance with physical activity guidelines, fatigue) will be assessed. Mediation and moderation analyses will also be conducted.
Given the growing number of cancer survivors, distance-based behaviour change programs addressing physical activity have the potential to make a significant public health impact.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) identifier: ACTRN12611001061921
PMCID: PMC3518246  PMID: 22569139
21.  Development and evaluation of social cognitive measures related to adolescent dietary behaviors 
This study aimed to develop and evaluate the reliability and factorial validity, of social-cognitive measures related to adolescent healthy eating behaviors.
A questionnaire was developed based on constructs from Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and included the following scales: self-efficacy, intentions (proximal goals), situation (perceived environment), social support, behavioral strategies, outcome expectations and expectancies. The questionnaire was administered with a two week test-retest among secondary school students (n = 173, age = 13.72 ± 1.24). Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to examine model-fit for each scale using multiple indices including: chi-square index, comparative-fit index (CFI), goodness-of-fit index (GFI), and the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA). Reliability properties were also examined (ICC and Cronbach’s alpha).
The reliability and factorial validity of each scale is supported: fit indices suggest each model to be an adequate-to-exact fit to the data; internal consistency was acceptable-to-good (α=0.65−0.79); rank order repeatability was strong (ICC = 0.81−0.89).
Conclusions and implications
Results support the reliability and factorial validity of social cognitive scales relating to healthy eating behaviors among adolescents. As such, the developed scales have utility for identifying potential social cognitive correlates of adolescent dietary behavior, mediators of dietary behavior change and validity testing of theoretical models based on Social Cognitive Theory.
PMCID: PMC3419629  PMID: 22472191
Social cognitive; Measures; Adolescents; Dietary behavior
22.  Determinants of quality of life in adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes 
Limited evidence exists on the determinants of quality of life (QoL) specific to adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Further, it appears no study has compared the determinants of QoL between T1D and type 2 diabetes (T2D) groups. The objectives of this study were to examine: (1) determinants of QoL in adults with T1D; and, (2) differences in QoL determinants between T1D and T2D groups.
The Alberta Longitudinal Exercise and Diabetes Research Advancement (ALEXANDRA) study, a longitudinal study of adults with diabetes in Alberta, Canada. Adults (18 years and older) with T1D (N = 490) and T2D (N = 1,147) provided information on demographics (gender, marital status, education, and annual income), personality (activity trait), medical factors (diabetes duration, insulin use, number of comorbidities, and body mass index), lifestyle behaviors (smoking habits, physical activity, and diet), health-related quality of life (HRQL) and life satisfaction. Multiple regression models identified determinants of HRQL and life satisfaction in adults with T1D. These determinants were compared with determinants for T2D adults reported in a previous study from this population data set. Factors significantly associated with HRQL and life satisfaction in either T1D or T2D groups were further tested for interaction with diabetes type.
In adults with T1D, higher activity trait (personality) score (β = 0.28, p < 0.01), fewer comorbidities (β = -0.27, p < 0.01), lower body mass index (BMI)(β = -0.12, p < 0.01), being a non-smoker (β = -0.14, p < 0.01), and higher physical activity levels (β = 0.16, p < 0.01) were associated with higher HRQL. Having a partner (β = 0.11, p < 0.05), high annual income (β = 0.16, p < 0.01), and high activity trait (personality) score (β = 0.27, p < 0.01) were significantly associated with higher life satisfaction. There was a significant age × diabetes type interaction for HRQL. The T2D group had a stronger positive relationship between advancing age and HRQL compared to the T1D group. No interaction was significant for life satisfaction.
Health services should target medical and lifestyle factors and provide support for T1D adults to increase their QoL. Additional social support for socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals living with this disease may be warranted. Health practitioners should also be aware that age has different effects on QoL between T1D and T2D adults.
PMCID: PMC3258220  PMID: 22182307
quality of life; health-related quality of life; life satisfaction; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes; adults with diabetes
23.  Adolescent Weight Status and Related Behavioural Factors: Web Survey of Physical Activity and Nutrition 
Journal of Obesity  2011;2012:342386.
Purpose. To identify whether non-overweight students were different from their overweight or obese peers with respect to diet, suboptimal meal behaviours, and physical activity using a self-administered web-based survey. Methods. 4097 adolescents living in Alberta, Canada completed Web-SPAN (Web Survey of Physical Activity and Nutrition). Students were classified as overweight or obese, and differences were described in terms of nutrient intakes, physical activity, and meal behaviours. Results. Non-overweight students consumed significantly more carbohydrate and fibre, and significantly less fat and high calorie beverages, and had a higher frequency of consuming breakfast and snacks compared to overweight or obese students. Both non-overweight and overweight students were significantly more active than obese students. Conclusions. This research supports the need to target suboptimal behaviours such as high calorie beverage consumption, fat intake, breakfast skipping, and physical inactivity. School nutrition policies and mandatory physical education for all students may help to improve weight status in adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3228322  PMID: 22175005
24.  The 'Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids' community effectiveness trial: study protocol of a community-based healthy lifestyle program for fathers and their children 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:876.
The 'Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids' program was designed to help overweight fathers lose weight and positively influence the health behaviors of their children. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the previously established program in a community setting, in a large effectiveness trial.
The Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids community trial consists of three stages: (i) Stage 1 - program refinement and resource development (ii) Stage 2 - community randomized controlled trial (iii) Stage 3 - community effectiveness trial. The program will be evaluated in five Local Government Areas in the Hunter Valley Region of NSW, Australia. For the community randomized controlled trial, 50 overweight/obese men (aged 18-65 years) from one Local Government Area with a child aged between 5-12 years of age will be recruited. Families will be randomized to either the program or a 6-month wait-list control group. Fathers and their children will be assessed at baseline, post-intervention (3-months) and 6-months. Inclusion criteria are: body mass index 25-40 kg/m2; no participation in other weight loss programs during the study; pass a health-screening questionnaire; and access to a computer with Internet facilities. In the community trial, the program will be evaluated using a non-randomized, prospective design in five Local Government Areas. The exclusion criteria is body mass index < 25 kg/m2 or lack of doctor's approval. Measures will be collected at baseline, 3-, 6- and 12-months. The program involves fathers attending seven face-to-face group sessions (three with children) over 3-months. Measures: The primary outcome is fathers' weight. Secondary outcomes for both fathers and children include: waist circumference, blood pressure, resting heart rate, physical activity, sedentary behaviors and dietary intake. Father-only measures include portion size, alcohol consumption, parenting for physical activity and nutrition and parental engagement. Process evaluation will determine the fidelity, dose (delivered and received), reach, recruitment and context of the program.
As a unique approach to reducing obesity prevalence in men and improving lifestyle behaviours in children, our findings will provide important evidence relating to the translation of Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids, which will enable it to be delivered on a larger scale.
Trial registration
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register (ANZCTR): ACTRN12610000608066
PMCID: PMC3260407  PMID: 22099889
25.  Efficacy of tailored-print interventions to promote physical activity: a systematic review of randomised trials 
Computer-tailored physical activity interventions are becoming increasingly popular. Recent reviews have comprehensively synthesised published research on computer-tailored interventions delivered via interactive technology (e.g. web-based programs) but there is a paucity of synthesis for interventions delivered via traditional print-based media in the physical activity domain (i.e. tailored-print interventions). The current study provides a systematic review of the tailored-print literature, to identify key factors relating to efficacy in tailored-print physical activity interventions.
Computer-tailored print intervention studies published up until May 2010 were identified through a search of three databases: Medline, CINAHL, and Psycinfo; and by searching reference lists of relevant publications, hand searching journals and by reviewing publications lists of 11 key authors who have published in this field.
The search identified 12 interventions with evaluations reported in 26 publications. Seven out of the 12 identified studies reported positive intervention effects on physical activity behaviour, ranging from one month to 24 months post-baseline and 3 months to 18 months post-intervention. The majority of studies reporting positive intervention effects were theory-based interventions with multiple intervention contacts.
There is preliminary evidence that tailored-print interventions are a promising approach to promoting physical activity in adult populations. Future research is needed to further identify key factors relating to efficacy and to determine if this approach is cost-effective and sustainable in the long-term.
PMCID: PMC3214130  PMID: 21999329

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