What do we Know About Brief Interventions to Promote Physical Activity? Systematic Review of Reviews
1University of Cambridge, Behavioural Science Group, Primary Care Unit, Institute of Public Health, Forvie Site, School of Clinical Medicine Box 113, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, CB2 0SR, United Kingdom
Background: The potential for brief interventions (BIs) to promote physical activity (PA) is increasingly recognised. It is timely to examine the evidence from reviews to determine what is known about BIs that could be delivered in primary care consultations. Methods:Databases were searched for systematic reviews of individual level BIs promoting PA in adults, reporting a PA outcome. Findings:Ten reviews were included. Three provided definitions, one specifying a maximum duration of 30 minutes. BIs increased short-term self-reported PA. Providing intervention supplements may increase effectiveness. It was unclear if BIs were more or less effective when targeting patients with certain characteristics. Many factors may influence their feasibility and acceptability e.g. time constraints. Discussion:Definitions include interventions that are too long for routine consultations. Practitioners and commissioners should be aware of this when interpreting the evidence. Intervention effects on objectively measured and self-reported PA in the long-term need further investigation. Future research should develop and evaluate very brief interventions that could fit into a routine consultation.