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International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 527–538 | Cite as

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Peer-Led Self-Management Programs for Increasing Physical Activity

  • Krista L Best
  • William C MillerEmail author
  • Janice J Eng
  • Francois Routhier
Article

Abstract

Purpose

Approximately 85 % of Canadians are not physically active enough to achieve health benefits. Peer-led self-management programs are becoming an increasingly popular strategy for modifying health behaviors, including physical activity. The purpose of this study was to systematically review and meta-analyze the effect of peer-led self-management interventions on physical activity.

Methods

PubMed, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews databases were systematically searched to identify all relevant randomized controlled trials that evaluated the effect of peer-led self-management on physical activity. The studies were described and effect size data were included in meta-analyses. Subgroup analyses were performed according to type of physical activity outcome (i.e., duration, frequency, other).

Results

Twenty-one studies were included in the review and 14 reported statistically significant improvements in physical activity. A meta-analysis of 17 studies showed a statistically significant moderate pooled effect (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.4, p < 0.001) of peer-led self-management programs on physical activity immediately post-intervention. The intervention had a large statistically significant effect based on the four studies that included follow-up measures (SMD = 1.5, p = 0.03). Meta-analysis of nine studies that used similar outcomes (i.e., minutes of physical activity) revealed a statistically significant small effect (SMD = 0.2, p < 0.001).

Conclusion

Peer-led self-management programs appear to be effective at increasing weekly duration of physical activity in various populations, but the effect size is small. Training peers to encourage increased physical activity may provide an effective method for reaching various clinical and non-clinical populations. More research is needed using validated and consistent physical activity outcomes.

Keywords

Meta-analysis Physical activity Peer group Self-efficacy Self-management programs 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Jason Tong for his assistance with the systematic review. We would also like to thank the Rehab Research Lab productivity club for research and clinical input when editing the manuscript.

References

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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krista L Best
    • 1
    • 2
  • William C Miller
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Janice J Eng
    • 2
    • 4
  • Francois Routhier
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Graduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Rehabilitation Research Program, Vancouver Coastal Research InstituteGF Strong Rehabilitation CentreVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Occupational Sciences and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  5. 5.Department of RehabilitationUniversité LavalQuebec CityCanada
  6. 6.Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS)Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de la Capitale-NationaleQuebec CityCanada

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