Booster RCT

Gym300Danny Hind, Munya Dimario, Cindy Cooper and Stephen Walters, along with the Chief Investigator Professor Liddy Goyder (in Public Health) and other colleagues in ScHARR and Sheffield Hallam University have recently been involved in the analysis and reporting of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness of booster interventions to sustain increases in physical activity in middle-aged adults in deprived urban neighbourhoods.

A randomised controlled trial and cost-effectiveness evaluation of booster interventions to sustain increases in physical activity in middle-aged adults in deprived urban neighbourhoods
Authors: Goyder E, Hind D, Breckon J, Dimairo M, Minton J, Everson-Hock E, Read S, Copeland R, Crank H, Horspool K, Humphreys L, Hutchison A, Kesterton S, Latimer N, Scott E, Swaile P, Walters SJ, Wood R, Collins K, Cooper C

Journal: Health Technology Assessment Volume: 18 Issue: 13 DOI: 10.3310/hta18130

There is a lack of evidence for effective interventions to maintain increases in physical activity (PA) in previously sedentary individuals. The Booster study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of face-to-face or telephone motivational interviewing (MI) based interventions in maintaining PA increases in middle-aged adults in deprived urban neighbourhoods.

A pragmatic randomised controlled trial was conducted, with participants randomised to three trial arms: a face-to-face MI-based intervention (“Full Booster”), a similar MI-based intervention delivered by telephone (“Mini Booster”) or a control arm. The primary outcome was Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) measured three months post randomisation. Secondary outcomes included other objective and subjective measures of physical activity (PA), fitness and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Two hundred and eighty-two participants were randomised (Control=96, Mini Booster=92, Full Booster=94). For the primary outcome, there were 160 participants with data for analysis (Control=61; Combined Booster n=99). The Mean Total Energy Expenditure (Kcal) per day at 3 months was 2266 (Control) and 2227 (Combined Booster). Mean difference in total energy expenditure favoured the control over the combined Booster arms (-39 Kcal, 95% CI -173 to 95, p=0.57). Analysis of secondary outcomes confirmed no statistically significant effects on physical fitness or HRQoL.

The research team concluded, that although some individuals do find a community-based, brief MI 'booster' intervention supportive, the low levels of recruitment and retention and the lack of impact on objectively measured physical activity levels in those with adequate outcome data suggest that it is unlikely to represent a clinically effective or cost-effective intervention for the maintenance of recently acquired physical activity increases in deprived middle-aged urban populations.

The RCT was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme.