Research recommendation(s) from an individual piece of guidance
- Physical activity: exercise referral schemes
- Date issued:
Research recommendations coming out of this guidance
How effective and cost effective are different types of exercise referral scheme? Compare the relative effects of different models in controlled studies. Include health-related quality of life as an outcome. Compare exercise referral schemes that vary by:
- setting – for example, home-based, gym-based, community-based or outdoors
- intensity and duration – for example, a 12-week scheme involving 1 session a week, or a 6-week scheme involving 4 1-hour sessions per week
- the techniques used, for example, some use additional 'supportive' techniques such as 'motivational interviewing' and education sessions
- the target group, for example, people who are overweight and obese, people with raised blood pressure or cholesterol levels or those experiencing mild depression, anxiety or stress; or by age, gender, race or socioeconomic status
- other scheme characteristics including: design, content and delivery; referral mechanisms; choice of activity; cost and qualifications of instructors; and whether it is commissioned and delivered by an NHS, non-NHS or community-based organisation.
What factors encourage uptake of, and adherence to, an exercise referral scheme? Factors to consider include: design, content and delivery; referral mechanisms; choice of activity; qualifications and cost of instructors. Also identify any barriers preventing participation and factors that encourage it.
What factors encourage under-represented groups to participate in and complete an exercise referral scheme? What factors prevent these groups from participating? Under-represented groups include: people from black and minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities and those from lower socioeconomic groups.
What is the comparative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of exercise referral schemes compared with other interventions that aim to help people to become more physically active? Relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness should be compared in controlled trials.