Nurse-delivered interventions can increase physical activity

18 February 2015

Nurses can play a vital role in helping older adults increase their physical activity, a new report has suggested.

The research from St George's University of London found that primary care nurse-delivered intervention could have a significant impact on health.

Published in the Public Library of Sciences (PLOS) journal, the study involved nearly 300 people between the ages of 60 and 75 years old. They were then randomised to determine whether they received standard care or an intervention aimed to increase physical activity. 

The latter included four consultations relating to physical activity with a primary care nurse over three months. These provided the participants with bespoke plans, and pedometer and accelerometer feedback to help measure their activity intensity and duration. 

After three months, the intervention group's step-counts were 1,037 steps higher than the control group, on average, while they spent 63 more minutes per week in moderate-to-vigorous activity. At their 12-month check-up, the difference was 609 steps per day and 40 minutes per week. 

The authors said: "Our study demonstrates that practice nurses can safely deliver an intervention to increase objectively measured physical activity levels," and that primary care can be the ideal setting for delivering such interventions in this age group.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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