Overview of the Activity Counseling Trial (ACT) intervention for promoting physical activity in primary health care settings

KING, ABBY C.; SALLIS, JAMES F.; DUNN, ANDREA L.; SIMONS-MORTON, DENISE G.; ALBRIGHT, CHERYL A.; COHEN, STUART; REJESKI, W. JACK; MARCUS, BESS H.; CODAY, MACE C.; FOR THE ACTIVITY COUNSELING TRIAL RESEARCH GROUP

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
Epidemiology
Abstract

Overview of the Activity Counseling Trial (ACT) for promoting physical activity in primary health care settings. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 30, No. 7, pp. 1086-1096, 1998. Counseling by health care providers has the potential to increase physical activity in sedentary patients, yet few studies have tested interventions for physical activity counseling delivered in health care settings. The Activity Counseling Trial (ACT) is a 5-yr randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of two primary care, practice-based physical activity behavioral interventions relative to a standard care control condition. A total of 874 sedentary men and women, 35-75 yr of age, have been recruited from primary care physician offices at three clinical centers for 2 yr of participation. They were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions that vary, in a hierarchical fashion, by level of counseling intensity and resource requirements. The interventions, which are based on social cognitive theory and the transtheoretical model, are designed to alter empirically based psychosocial mediators that are known to be associated with physical activity. The present paper describes the theoretical background of the intervention, the intervention methods, and intervention training and quality control procedures.

Author Information

Stanford University School of Medicine, San Diego State University, Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, The Miriam Hospital and Brown University School of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis

Submitted for publication December 1997.

Accepted for publication December 1997.

ACT is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through the following contracts: N01-HC-45135 (Steven Blair, PI), N01-HC-45136 (Abby King, PI), N01-HC-45137 (William Applegate, PI), and N01-HC-45138 (Timothy Morgan, PI).

We thank Robert C. Klesges, Ph.D. from the University of Memphis for his helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript. The ACT Research Group consists of:

Clinical Centers-Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research: Steven Blair (Principal Investigator), Andrea Dunn, Larry Gibbons, Benjamin Levine (University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center), Peter Snell (UT SW Medical Center), James Sallis (San Diego State University), Bess Marcus (The Miriam Hospital and Brown University School of Medicine), Melissa Garcia, Amy Strasner (UT SW Medical Center), Sheila Darroch, Michelle Edwards, Nancy Pierce, Ruth Carpenter, Laura Becker, Christopher Colflesh (UT SW Medical Center), Jerome Differding, James Kampert, Alan Levitt. Stanford University School of Medicine: Abby King (Principal Investigator), William Haskell, Cheryl Albright, Leslie Pruitt, Lisa Palmer, Wayne Phillips, Ami Laws, Marcia Stefanick, Irene Etter, Kelley Callahan, Marina Nicolae, Alisa Kamigaki, Lynne Alexander, Steven Park, Julie Peltz, Jennifer Almand. University of Tennessee-Memphis: William Applegate (Principal Investigator), Robert Klesges (University of Memphis), Mary O'Toole, Stephen Miller, Karen Johnson, Joyce Banton, Mace Coday, Jay Lee Taylor, Beate Griffin, Judith Soberman, Jan Elam, Veronica Horton, Jerold Loftin.

Project office-National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute. Denise Simons-Morton (Project Officer), P. Scott Allender, Jeffrey Cutler, Eva Obarzanek, Joanna Shih, John Taylor, Carolyn Voorhees, Colleen Brown, Nicole Lewis.

Clinical Coordinating Center-Bowman Gray School of Medicine: Timothy Morgan (Principal Investigator), Roger Anderson, Stuart Cohen, Mark Espeland, Walter Ettinger, Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, Michael Miller, Jack Rejeski (Wake Forest University), Paul Ribisl (Wake Forest University), Mary Ann Sevick, Mara Vitolins, Robert Amoroso, Susan Anthony, Timothy Craven, Kathy Dotson, Rebecca Fussell, Darrin Harris, Patricia Hogan, Susan Margitic, Stephanie Reece, Carol Wasilauskas.

Data and Safety Monitoring Board-Albert Oberman (Chair), Rod Dishman, Patricia Dubbert, Elisha Lee, I-Min Lee, Russell R. Pate.

Central Laboratory-Penn Medical Laboratories: David Robbins and Marilyn Cadorette.

© Williams & Wilkins 1998. All Rights Reserved.