Purpose: This study compares the efficacy of a self-help intervention tailored to the individual's stage of motivational readiness for exercise adoption with a standard self-help exercise promotion intervention.
Design: Interventions were delivered at baseline and 1 month; assessments were collected at baseline and 3 months.
Setting: Eleven worksites participating in the Working Healthy Research Trial.
Subjects: Participants (n = 1559) were a subsample of employees at participating worksites, individually randomized to one of two treatment conditions.
Intervention: Printed self-help exercise promotion materials either (1) matched to the individual's stage of motivational readiness for exercise adoption (motivationally tailored), or (2) standard materials (standard).
Measures: Measures of stage of motivational readiness for exercise and items from the 7-Day Physical Activity Recall.
Results: Among intervention completers (n = 903), chi-square analyses showed that, compared to the standard intervention, those receiving the motivationally tailored intervention were significantly more likely to show increases (37% vs. 27%) and less likely to show either no change (52% vs. 58%) or regression (11% vs. 15%) in stage of motivational readiness. Multivariate analyses of variance showed that changes in stage of motivational readiness were significantly associated with changes in self-reported time spent in exercise.
Conclusions: This is the first prospective, randomized, controlled trial demonstrating the efficacy of a brief motivationally tailored intervention compared to a standard self-help intervention for exercise adoption. These findings appear to support treatment approaches that tailor interventions to the individual's stage of motivational readiness for exercise adoption.