Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Controlled studies that were experimental or quasi-experimental were eligible for the review. The included studies were both randomised and non-randomised.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies with interventions based in a primary care setting that aimed to provide access to exercise activities and/or facilities were eligible for inclusion. No inclusion criteria for the control intervention were stated. The included studies involved a range of interventions, such as financial incentives to attend leisure facilities, personalised exercise programmes, access to exercise groups, group- or home-based exercise programmes or classes, motivational interventions and prescribed exercise instructions. The control interventions included written information or other advice, and some exercise interventions in those studies where the intervention group received additional motivation or reinforcement methods.
Participants included in the review
No inclusion criteria for the participants were stated. All of the included participants were adults, ranging from a mean age of 34 years to older than 80 years. Most studies included healthy, sedentary participants, but one study included those who were hypertensive, overweight or smokers.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that assessed physical activity or adherence were eligible for inclusion. The included studies used the following outcomes: self-reported physical activity levels, adherence to allocated physical activity, or attendance at allocated sessions. Some studies also reported on fitness levels, lipid or cholesterol levels, weight and blood-pressure.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The author did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.