Four RCTs (included one RCT reported in three papers) and one quasi-RCT with a total of 536 patients were included. Trials had several methodological limitations. Quality scores ranged from 3 to 8 out of 10 (median 5). Only one trial reported adequate concealment methods. Only one study reported blinded outcomes assessment and intention to treat analysis.
Physical activity behaviours (primary outcomes):
Six studies reported data on physical activity. Pooled analysis found that psychoeducational interventions had a positive and moderate effect on levels of physical activity between six and 12 months, which was statistically significant (SMD 0.62, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.94; Ι²=20%, four trials, 209 patients).
One trial of 93 patients reported a statistically significant improvement in a self-reported dietary index at two years that was maintained at three years but not at 60 months.
Four studies (three were linked) reported a statistically significant reduction in smoking and one reported no significant effect. One trial of 276 patients reported that chances of abstaining continuously from smoking for a year were 44% higher for participants who received a psychoeducational intervention compared to control (RR 1.44, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.86). Another trial found a significant reduction in smoking rates following psychoeducation compared to control at 12 months (12% reduction versus 9% increase, p<0.05) and 36 months but not at 60 months (statistical test used unclear).
Physiological outputs (secondary outcomes):
Three trials found no significant differences in blood pressure during rest and exercise between intervention and control groups. One trial reported a statistically significant 17.4% reduction in mean body fat for psychoeducational programme participants compared to control at six months. Another trial found no effect on body mass index or waist-to-hip ratio.