Successfully improving physical activity behavior after rehabilitation

H.P. van der Ploeg, K.R. Streppel, A.J. van der Beek, L.H.V. van der Woude, M.M. Vollenbroek-Hutten, W.H. van Harten, W. van Mechelen

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PURPOSE: To determine the effects of the physical activity promotion programs Rehabilitation & Sports (R&S) and Active after Rehabilitation (AaR) on sport and daily physical activity 1 year after in- or outpatient rehabilitation.

DESIGN: Subjects in intervention rehabilitation centers were randomized into a group receiving R&S only (n = 315) and a group receiving R&S and AaR (n = 284). Subjects in six control centers (n = 603) received usual care.

SETTING: Ten Dutch rehabilitation centers.

SUBJECTS: Subjects consisted of 1202 rehabilitation patients. Most frequent diagnoses were stroke, neurological disorders, and back disorders.

INTERVENTION: Both the sport stimulation program (R&S) and the daily physical activity promotion program (AaR) consisted of personalized tailored counseling.

MEASURES: Two sport outcomes and two daily physical activity outcomes were assessed with questionnaires at baseline and 1 year after rehabilitation.

ANALYSIS: Multilevel analyses comparing both intervention groups to the control group.

RESULTS: The R&S program showed no significant effects. Intention-to-treat analyses in the R&S + AaR group showed borderline significant improvements in one sport (odds ratio [OR] = 1.66, p = .02) and both physical activity outcomes (OR = 1.68, p = .01 and regression coefficient = 10.78, p = .05). On-treatment analyses in the R&S + AaR group showed similar but stronger effects.

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of the R&S and AaR programs improved physical activity behavior and sport participation 1 year after in- or outpatient rehabilitation. The R&S program alone did not have any effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of health promotion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2007


  • Adult
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Netherlands
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rehabilitation

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