Effect of a group intervention in the primary healthcare setting on continuing adherence to physical exercise routines in obese women


Correspondence: E Escortell Mayor, Epidemiologist, Unidad de Apoyo a la Investigación, Gerencia Atención Primaria, Madrid, Spain. Telephone: +34 91 335 25 69.

E-mail: eescortell@salud.madrid.org


Aims and objectives

To determine the effect of a seven-week-long, group-delivered, nurse-monitored, exercise training programme on the adherence of obese women to physical exercise routines at 12 months.


The worldwide obesity epidemic is posing huge public health challenges. The main cause of obesity in Europe is very possibly a sedentary lifestyle. Uncertainty exists regarding whether people will continue to exercise once a structured intervention programme of physical activity ends.


No-control-group (before–after) intervention study.


One Hundred Seventy-Four women from the Madrid region (Spain) aged ≥ 45 years with a body mass index of ≥30 undertook a maximum of 21 × 1 hour exercise training programme sessions (three per week) over seven weeks starting in February 2009. The number of women making use of exercise training programme before the intervention, and at 6 and 12 months postintervention, was recorded using the Nursing Outcome Classification. Information was collected by interviewing the study subjects. Bivariate (McNemar and Student's t-tests) and multivariate (binary logistic regression) analyses were then performed.


The Nursing Outcome Classification Indicator ‘Does the subject follow an exercise training programme?’ showed that at the end of one year, the percentage of women who remained adhered to exercise training programme increased in those who completed the study (from 11–41%). As the number of programmed exercise training programme sessions completed increased beyond 14, so too did the likelihood of adhering to an exercise training programme regime at one year.


The results show that an exercise training programme intervention can encourage obese women to continue exercising after exercise interventions end.

Relevance to clinical practice

This type of intervention could provide a valuable means of helping women lose weight and improve their health. It may also have important economic benefits for health systems. Clinical trials with longer follow-up times and in other populations are needed to confirm the present results.