Project LIFE: a partnership to increase physical activity in elders with multiple chronic illnesses

J Aging Phys Act. 2006 Jul;14(3):324-43. doi: 10.1123/japa.14.3.324.


The authors describe a medical center-based randomized trial aimed at determining the feasibility and effectiveness of partnering patients and primary-care providers with an exercise health counselor. Study participants included 165 veterans age 70 years and older. The primary end point was change in physical activity at 3 and 6 months comparing patients receiving high-intensity physical activity counseling, attention control counseling, and usual care after receiving standardized clinic-based counseling. We noted a significant Group x Time interaction (p = .041) for physical activity frequency and a similar effect for caloric expenditure (p = .054). Participants receiving high-intensity counseling and usual care increased physical activity over the short term, but those with usual care returned to baseline by the end of the study. The intervention was well received by practitioners and patients. We conclude that partnering primary-care providers with specialized exercise counselors for age- and health-appropriate physical activity counseling is effective.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Directive Counseling*
  • Exercise*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Frail Elderly
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Efficacy
  • Veterans* / psychology