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Effectiveness Studies in Health Promotion: A Review of the Methodological Quality of Studies Reporting Significant Effects on Physical Activity in Working Age Adults

1
Institute of Movement Therapy and movement-oriented Prevention and Rehabilitation, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Muengersdorf 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany
2
Center for Health and Physical Activity, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Muengersdorf 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany
3
IST-University of Applied Sciences, Erkrather Straße 220 a-c, 40233 Duesseldorf, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050813
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement)
The methodology of intervention studies on physical activity (PA) promotion is of great importance regarding evidence development in complex interventions. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of the methodological quality of those studies which reported statistically significant effects of interventions promoting PA. PUBMED was searched for reviews on PA promotion to identify studies reporting effective interventions with participants of working age (16–67 years). Selected reviews were screened and data from primary studies with effective interventions were extracted to assess methodological quality. Forty-six reviews with 600 primary studies were identified, of which 33 met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-one studies were conducted as randomized controlled trials, 13 included an intervention control group, 25 measured PA by questionnaire, and 13 included objective measurements. Information on used statistics was often scarce, and long-term follow-up measurements were frequently missing. The overall methodological quality was moderate for randomized studies and low for non-randomized studies; information on methods and results was often lacking. To overcome these methodological issues, standardized guidelines for reporting study results should be considered, not only when publishing results but also when designing studies. This review provides a solid foundation for the development of practical advice for planning application-oriented studies in PA promotion. View Full-Text
Keywords: evidence development; physical activity promotion; methodology; assessment; study design; reporting guidelines evidence development; physical activity promotion; methodology; assessment; study design; reporting guidelines
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Rudolf, K.; Dejonghe, L.A.L.; Froböse, I.; Lammer, F.; Rückel, L.-M.; Tetz, J.; Schaller, A. Effectiveness Studies in Health Promotion: A Review of the Methodological Quality of Studies Reporting Significant Effects on Physical Activity in Working Age Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 813.

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