Background: Written prescriptions of physical activity have increased in popularity. Such schemes have mostly been evaluated in terms of efficacy in clinical trials. This study reports on a physical activity prescription referral scheme implemented in routine primary health care (PHC) in Sweden. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients' self-reported adherence to physical activity prescriptions at 3 and 12 months and to analyse different characteristics associated with adherence to these prescriptions.
Methods: Prospective prescription data were obtained for the general population in 37 of 42 PHC centres in Ostergötland County, during 2004. The study population consisted of 3300.
Results: The average adherence rate to the prescribed activity was 56% at 3 months and 50% at 12 months. In the multiple logistic regression models, higher adherence was associated with higher activity level at baseline and with prescriptions including home-based activities.
Conclusions: Prescription from ordinary PHC staff yielded adherence in half of the patients in this PAR scheme follow-up.