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Participants who completed a 3-month prescribed individualized exercise program in groups were followed-up prospectively. The aims were to describe the characteristics of the participants, their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and physical fitness at baseline, at completion and at 12-month follow-up, and to identify predictors of HRQoL and physical fitness at completion and at 12-month follow-up.
A 1-group follow-up design was used. Data were collected from records of 163 attendees at a municipality-sponsored health center in Norway. HRQoL was measured by self-report using the COOP/WONCA questionnaire. Physical fitness was estimated from the results of a 2-km walk test.
Of the 163 participants referred to the clinic, 130 (79.8%) were women and 33 were (20.2%) men. Participants who completed were older than those who dropped out. The participants showed clinical improvement in physical fitness and all health-related quality life domains (d > 0.53) at the completion of the program and in physical functioning, mental health, performance of daily activities, overall health, and perceived improved health after 12 months (d > 0.36).
Participation in group-based prescribed exercise program for 3 months may improve physical fitness and HRQoL significantly in short and long terms.
Lerdal is with the Division of Medicine, Dept of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. Celius is with the Fysioteket Health Centre, Drammen Municipality, Drammen, Buskerud, Norway. Perdersen is with the Dept of Health Promotion, Norwegian University of Life Science, Ås, Akershus, Norway.