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1.  Cost-effectiveness of counseling and pedometer use to increase physical activity in the Netherlands: a modeling study 
Background
Counseling in combination with pedometer use has proven to be effective in increasing physical activity and improving health outcomes. We investigated the cost-effectiveness of this intervention targeted at one million insufficiently active adults who visit their general practitioner in the Netherlands.
Methods
We used the RIVM chronic disease model to estimate the long-term effects of increased physical activity on the future health care costs and quality adjusted life years (QALY) gained, from a health care perspective.
Results
The intervention resulted in almost 6000 people shifting to more favorable physical-activity levels, and in 5100 life years and 6100 QALYs gained, at an additional total cost of EUR 67.6 million. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was EUR 13,200 per life year gained and EUR 11,100 per QALY gained. The intervention has a probability of 0.66 to be cost-effective if a QALY gained is valued at the Dutch informal threshold for cost-effectiveness of preventive intervention of EUR 20,000. A sensitivity analysis showed substantial uncertainty of ICER values.
Conclusion
Counseling in combination with pedometer use aiming to increase physical activity may be a cost-effective intervention. However, the intervention only yields relatively small health benefits in the Netherlands.
doi:10.1186/1478-7547-10-13
PMCID: PMC3495195  PMID: 23006466
Economic evaluation; Prevention; Modeling; Counseling; Pedometer use; Physical activity; Primary care
2.  Reliability and validity of the short questionnaire to assess health-enhancing physical activity (SQUASH) in patients after total hip arthroplasty 
Background
Despite recognized benefits of regular physical activity on musculoskeletal fitness as well as general health, little is known about the physical activity behavior of patients after Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA). So far, no physical activity questionnaire has been validated in this category of patients. As the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-enhancing physical activity (SQUASH) has been shown to be a fairly reliable and valid tool to gauge the physical activity behavior of the general Dutch adult population, we measured the reliability and relative validity of this tool in patients after THA.
Methods
44 patients (17 men and 27 women, mean age 71 ± 8 years) completed the SQUASH twice with an in-between period of 2 to 6 weeks (mean 3.7). Reliability was determined by calculating the Spearman correlation coefficient between the activity scores of the separate questions as well as the total activity scores from both administrations. Additionally, a Bland & Altman analysis was performed for the total activity scores. Relative validity was determined using the Actigraph™ accelerometer, worn by 39 patients (15 men and 24 women, mean age 70 ± 8 years) for a 2-week period following the second questionnaire, as a criterion measure.
Results
Spearman's correlation coefficient for overall reliability was 0.57. It varied between 0.45 and 0.90 for the separate questions. No systematic biases between readings were found. The Spearman correlation between Actigraph™ readings and total activity score was 0.67. It was 0.56 for total minutes of activity, 0.20 for time spent in light intensity activity, 0.40 for moderate activity and 0.35 for vigorous activity. Systematic bias was found between the SQUASH and the Actigraph™.
Conclusion
The SQUASH can be considered to be a fairly reliable tool to assess the physical activity behavior of patients after THA. Validity was found to be comparable with those of other questionnaires, and as it is short and easy to fill in, it may prove to be a useful tool to assess physical activity in this particular subset of the population. However, the considerable systematic bias found in this study illustrates the need for further analysis of the validity of the SQUASH.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-141
PMCID: PMC2576250  PMID: 18928545

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