Physical activity on prescription in routine health care: 1-year follow-up of patients with and without counsellor support

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The effectiveness of counsellor support in addition to physical activity on prescription (PAP) from health care professionals has rarely been evaluated. This observational follow-up study investigated differences in physical activity levels and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) one year after PAP regarding patients’ use of counsellor support in addition to PAP in routine care. The study was conducted in a Swedish health care region in which all patients receiving PAP from health care professionals were offered counsellor support. Data were collected from medical records and questionnaires (baseline and follow-up). Of the 400 study participants, 37% used counsellor support. The group of counsellor users attained a higher level of physical activity one year after receiving PAP compared to the group of non-users (p < 0.001). The level of physical activity was measured by a validated index (score 3–19) calculated from weekly everyday activity and exercise training. Comparison of the change in scores between baseline and follow-up showed a significant difference between the two groups, (p < 0.001). The median difference in the PAP + C group was 2.0 (interquartile range, 7.0) and 0.0. among non-users (interquartile range, 4.0). Significant differences in HRQoL were due to positive improvements among counsellor users, with the main improvement in general health. The conclusion is that patients using counsellor support after receiving PAP from health care professionals had higher physical activity and better HRQoL one year after compared with patients who did not use this support.


  • Pia Andersen
  • Sara Holmberg
  • Kristofer Årestedt
  • Lena Lendahls
  • Per Nilsen
External organisations
  • Region Kronoberg
  • Linköping University
  • Linnaeus University
  • Kalmar County Council
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Physiotherapy


  • Counselling, Counsellor, Health care, Patients, Physical activity on prescription
Original languageEnglish
Article number5679
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch