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Cost-effectiveness of physical activity counselling in general practice

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journal contribution
posted on 2004-12-17, 00:00 authored by R Elley, N Kerse, B Arroll, Boyd Swinburn, T Ashton, E Robinson
AIM: To assess the cost-effectiveness of the 'Green Prescription' physical activity counselling programme in general practice.
METHOD: Prospective cost-effectiveness study undertaken as part of a cluster randomised controlled trial with 12-month follow-up of 878 'less-active' patients aged 40-79 years in 42 general practices in the Waikato. The intervention was verbal advice and a written exercise prescription given by general practitioners, with telephone exercise specialist follow-up compared with usual care. Main outcome measures included cost per total and leisure-time physical activity gain from health-funders' and societal perspectives.
RESULTS: Significant increases in physical activity were found in the randomised controlled trial. Programme-cost per patient was NZ170 dollars from a funder's perspective. The monthly cost-effectiveness ratio for total energy expenditure achieved was 11 dollars per kcal/kg/day. The incremental cost of converting one additional 'sedentary' adult to an 'active' state over a twelve-month period was NZ1,756 dollars in programme costs.
CONCLUSION: Verbal and written physical activity advice given in general practice with telephone follow-up is an inexpensive way of increasing activity for sedentary people, and has the potential to have significant economic impact through reduction in cardiovascular and other morbidity and mortality.

History

Journal

New Zealand medical journal

Volume

117

Issue

1207

Pagination

1 - 15

Publisher

New Zealand Medical Association

Location

Christchurch, N. Z.

ISSN

0028-8446

eISSN

1175-8716

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2004, NZMA

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