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Larissa Roux, Mike Pratt, I-Min Lee, Terry Bazzarre and David Buchner

Background:

Community-based efforts to promote physical activity (PA) in adults have been found to be cost-effective in general, but it is unknown if this is true in middle-age specifically. Age group-specific economic evaluations could help inform the design and delivery of better and more tailored PA promotion.

Methods:

A Markov model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness (CE) of 7 exemplar community-level interventions to promote PA recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services, over a 20-year horizon. The CE of these interventions in 25- to 64-year-old adults was compared with their CE in middle-aged adults, aged 50 to 64 years. The robustness of the results was examined through sensitivity analyses.

Results:

Cost/QALY (quality-adjusted life year) of the evaluated interventions in 25- to 64-year-olds ranged from $42,456/QALY to $145,868/QALY. Interventions were more cost-effective in middle-aged adults, with CE ratios 38% to 47% lower than in 25- to 64-year-old adults. Sensitivity analyses showed greater than a 90% probability that the true CE of 4 of the 7 interventions was below $125,000/QALY in adults aged 50 to 64 years.

Conclusion:

The exemplar PA promotion interventions evaluated appeared to be especially cost-effective for middle-aged adults. Prioritizing such efforts to this age group is a good use of societal resources.

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Rachel L. Wright, Joseph W. Bevins, David Pratt, Catherine M. Sackley and Alan M. Wing

Asymmetry in weight-bearing is a common feature in poststroke hemiparesis and is related to temporal asymmetry during walking. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an auditory cue for stepping in place on measures of temporal and weight-bearing asymmetry. A total of 10 community-dwelling adults (6 males and 4 females) with chronic poststroke hemiparesis performed 5 un-cued stepping trials and 5 stepping trials cued by an auditory metronome cue. A Vicon system was used to collect full body kinematic trajectories. Two force platforms were used to measure ground reaction forces. Step, swing, and stance times were used to calculate temporal symmetry ratios. Weight-bearing was assessed using the vertical component of the ground reaction force and center of mass–center of pressure separation at mid-stance. Weight-bearing asymmetry was significantly reduced during stepping with an auditory cue. Asymmetry values for step, swing, and stance times were also significantly reduced with auditory cueing. These findings show that auditory cueing when stepping in place produces immediate reductions in measures of temporal asymmetry and dynamic weight-bearing asymmetry.

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Russell R. Pate, Jennifer L. Gay, David R. Brown and Michael Pratt