Do subsidization and monitoring enhance adherence to prescribed exercise?

Am J Health Promot. Sep-Oct 2007;22(1):2-5. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-22.1.2.


Purpose: We studied whether partial versus full subsidization and self versus other monitoring promote adherence to physician-prescribed exercise.

Method: We randomly assigned 132 participants to experimental conditions defined by two levels of subsidization and two types of monitoring. Physicians wrote prescriptions as referrals to an exercise facility. A computer recorded participants' exercise for 12 weeks. A sponsoring medical organization paid half or all of the facility's fees. Half of the participants kept records of workouts, and half reported workouts to researchers who telephoned them.

Results: Fully subsidized patients averaged 21.41 workouts versus 16.67 workouts by partially subsidized patients (p < .05). Researcher-monitored participants averaged 22.14 workouts versus 15.96 workouts by self-monitored participants (p < .01).

Conclusions: Full subsidization and third-party monitoring increased exercise rates. These findings encourage use of both to enhance prescribed exercise rates and continued study of factors that contribute to the efficacy of prescribed exercise.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise Therapy / economics
  • Exercise Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fitness Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Promotion / economics*
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Managed Care Programs / economics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Motivation
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Physical Fitness / psychology
  • Prescriptions
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Self Care / economics*
  • Self Efficacy*