To determine the effects of adding stages of change-based counseling to an exercise prescription for older, sedentary adults in family practice.
The Step Test Exercise Prescription Stages of change counseling study was a 12-month cluster randomized trial.
Forty family practices in 4 regions of Canada.
Healthy, community-dwelling men (48%) and women (52%) with a mean (SD) age of 64.9 (7.1) years (range 55 to 85 years). There were a total of 193 participants in the intervention group and 167 in the control group.
Intervention physicians were trained to deliver a tailored exercise prescription and a transtheoretical behaviour change counseling program. Control physicians were trained to deliver the exercise prescription alone.
Predicted cardiorespiratory fitness, measured by predicted maximal oxygen consumption (pVO2max), and energy expenditure, measured by 7-day physical activity recall.
Mean increase in pVO2max was significant for both the intervention (3.02 [95% confidence interval 2.40 to 3.65] mL/kg/min) and control (2.21 [95% confidence interval 1.27 to 3.15] mL/kg/min) groups at 12 months (P
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