Background: Patient-centered Assessment and Counseling on Exercise plus nutrition (PACE+) is an intervention based in primary care settings to help patients change physical activity and dietary behaviors.
Methods: One hundred seventy-three adults were assessed before and after a 4-month intervention. All patients completed a computerized assessment and created tailored "action plans" to change one physical activity and one nutrition behavior that they then discussed with their provider. After the visit, subjects were randomized to one of four extended intervention conditions: control, mail only, infrequent phone and mail, and frequent phone and mail. Self-report of five target behaviors (moderate and vigorous physical activity stage of change, dietary fat, fruit/vegetable intake, and overeating behaviors) was collected at baseline and 4 months. Acceptability measures were also taken.
Results: Participants in all conditions improved on all behaviors over time, supporting the utility of the computer and provider counseling components. The extended intervention did not produce differential results with respect to mode (phone or mail) or intensity (frequent or infrequent). However, for each behavior, participants who targeted the behavior to change improved significantly more than those who did not target the behavior. Acceptability of the intervention was high.
Conclusions: Primary care-based, interactive health communication to improve physical activity and dietary behavior is feasible and has promising initial results.
Copyright 2001 American Health Foundation and Elsevier Science (USA).