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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology


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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Apr 05

The effects of health counselling and exercise training on self-rated health and well-being in middle-aged men: a randomised trial

Elina ENGBERG 1, 2, Helena LIIRA 3, 4, Katriina KUKKONEN-HARJULA 5, Svetlana FROM 3, Hannu KAUTIAINEN 3, 6, Kaisu PITKÄLÄ 3, Heikki TIKKANEN 1, 2, 7

1 Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; 2 Foundation for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Clinic for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Helsinki, Finland; 3 Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; 4 School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care, General Practice, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia; 5 UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, Tampere, Finland; 6 Unit of Primary Health Care, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; 7 Institute of Biomedicine, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

BACKGROUND: Few community-based lifestyle interventions have examined subjective well-being. We examined the effects of health counselling and exercise training on self-rated health (SRH), self-rated well-being (SRW) and depressive symptoms in middle-aged men at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a randomized controlled trial.
METHODS: Men (n = 168) with at least two CVD risk factors engaging in leisure-time physical activity less than 3 times/week were randomized into: A) a group receiving single-session health counselling, B) a group receiving single-session health counselling and three months of weekly structured group exercise training or C) a control group. We assessed SRH and SRW using visual analogue scales and depressive symptoms using a brief depression screener (the Patient Health Questionnaire-2, PHQ-2).
RESULTS: Generalised estimating equation (GEE) models showed that, after 3 and 12 months, SRH (P = 0.024) and SRW (P = 0.014) improved across all groups. We found no differences between the groups (group by time effect, P = 0.44 and P = 0.80). The proportion of men with PHQ-2 scores ≥3 (positive depression screen) decreased in groups A (from 27% to 13%) and B (from 34% to 18%), but increased among controls (from 26% to 31%) (group by time effect, P = 0.078).
CONCLUSIONS: We found improvements in SRH and SRW, with a diminishing proportion of men screening positive for depression one year after a single health counselling session and a three-month exercise-training programme. We detected, however, no statistically significant differences when comparing men who received health counselling or health counselling combined with exercise training to controls.

language: English


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