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Table 1 Study characteristics and risk of bias ratings in the included studies

From: Interventions aimed at increasing the level of physical activity by including organised follow-up: a systematic review of effect

Study location Design overall risk of bias Participants longest follow-up Intervention and duration Comparison Physical activity outcomes Measured by
Isaacs 2007 [17] England RCT Unclear3,4,5,7 943 adults 40–74 years 3 months Supervised PA in groups Advice Minutes of PA/week Questionnaire on 7-day leisure time activities, walking, occupational activity and work in the home [48]
Energy expenditure, kcal/kg/week
1) strength, fitness
2) walks led by instructor
Duration: 10 weeks
Park 2011 [18] South Korea RCT Unclear1,2,3,4,5 45 older adults ≥ 65 years Post-treatment Supervised PA in groups No treatment MET-adjusted minutes of PA/week International Physical Activity Questionnaire [49]
Duration: 12 weeks
Elley 2003 [19] New Zealand Cluster-RCT Unclear2,3,4 878 adults 40–79 years 9 months Referral to local resources w/follow-up Advice Energy expenditure, kcal/kg/week Auckland Heart Study Physical Activity Questionnaire [50]
Duration: 12 weeks
Fortier 2011 [20] Canada RCT Low3 120 adults 18–69 years 3 months Referral to local resources w/follow-up Advice Minutes of moderate PA/day Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire [51]; accelerometer [52]
PA score
Duration: 12 weeks
Harrison 2004 [21] England RCT Low4 545 adults ≥ 18 years 9 months Referral to local resources w/follow-up Advice Number of participants who met PA goal (90 min/week) Adapted 7-Day Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire [53]
Duration: 12 weeks
Stevens 1998 [22] England RCT Unclear2,3,4,5,7 714 adults 45–74 years 4 months Referral to local resources w/follow-up Advice Level of PA last 4 weeks Adapted 7-Day Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire [53]
Duration: 10 weeks
Armit 2009 [23] Australia RCT Low2,4 136 adults 50–70 years 3 months 1) Referral to local resources w/follow-up Advice Number of participants who met PA goal (150 min/week) Active Australia Physical Activity Questionnaire [54]
2) Self-organised PA w/follow-up
Duration: 12 weeks
Taylor 1998 [24] England RCT Unclear2,3,4,5 142 adults 40–70 years 6 months Referral to local resources w/follow-up No treatment Minutes of PA/week 7-Day Physical Activity Recall Questionnaire [53]
Energy expenditure, kcal/kg/day
Duration: 10 weeks
Bjørk Petersen 2012 [25] Denmark RCT Unclear1,3,4 655 adults ≥ 18 years Post-treatment Self-organised PA w/follow-up Advice Minutes of PA/week International Physical Activity Questionnaire [49]; ergometer [55, 56]
Increased level of PA
Duration: 12 weeks
Aerobic capacity
Harland 1999 [26] England RCT Low2,3 209 adults 40–64 years§ 9 months Self-organised PA w/follow-up Advice PA score National Fitness Survey Questionnaire [57]
- level of PA
Duration: 12 weeks
- occasions with PA
Baker 2008 [27] Scotland RCT Unclear1,3 79 adults 18–65 years Post-treatment Self-organised PA w/follow-up No treatment Number of steps/day Pedometer [58]
Duration: 12 weeks
Green 2002 [28] USA RCT Low3 316 adults 18–65 years 3 months Self-organised PA w/follow-up No treatment PA score Physician Assessment and Counselling for Exercise [59]
Duration: 12 weeks
Kirkwood 2007 [29] Scotland RCT High1,2,3,4,5 34 adult women 30–50 years Post-treatment Self-organised PA w/follow-up No treatment Energy expenditure, kcal/kg/day Accelerometer [60]
Duration: 12 weeks
Kolt 2007 [30] New Zealand RCT Unclear2,3,4,5 186 older adults ≥ 65 years 9 months Self-organised PA w/follow-up No treatment Minutes of PA/week Auckland Heart Study Physical Activity Questionnaire [50]
    Duration: 12 weeks    
  1. Legend: PA = physical activity; domains where risk of bias was rated as low, unclear or high at study level: 1sequence generation, 2allocation concealment, 3blinding of participants and personnel, 4blinding of outcome assessment, 5incomplete outcome data, 6selective outcome reporting, 7other potential threats to validity; §data for Group 3 used.