Effect of a primary health-care-based controlled trial for cardiorespiratory fitness in refugee women.

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BACKGROUND: Refugee women have a high risk of coronary heart disease with low physical activity as one possible mediator. Furthermore, cultural and environmental barriers to increasing physical activity have been demonstrated. The aim of the study was to evaluate the combined effect of an approximate 6-month primary health care- and community-based exercise intervention versus an individual written prescription for exercise on objectively assessed cardiorespiratory fitness in low-active refugee women. METHODS: A controlled clinical trial, named "Support for Increased Physical Activity", was executed among 243 refugee women recruited between November 2006 and April 2008 from two deprived geographic areas in southern Stockholm, Sweden. One geographic area provided the intervention group and the other area the control group. The control group was on a higher activity level at both baseline and follow-up, which was taken into consideration in the analysis by applying statistical models that accounted for this. Relative aerobic capacity and fitness level were assessed as the two main outcome measures. RESULTS: The intervention group increased their relative aerobic capacity and the percentage with an acceptable fitness level (relative aerobic capacity > 23 O2 mlxkgxmin-1) to a greater extent than the control group between baseline and the 6-month follow-up, after adjusting for possible confounders (P = 0.020). CONCLUSIONS: A combined primary health-care and community-based exercise programme (involving non-profit organizations) can be an effective strategy to increase cardiorespiratory fitness among low-active refugee women. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT00747942.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Original languageEnglish
Article number55
JournalBMC Family Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

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