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Article

Gender Differences in Uptake, Adherence and Experiences: A Longitudinal, Mixed-Methods Study of a Physical Activity Referral Scheme in Scotland, UK

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School of Health and Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University, Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh EH11 4DN, UK
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Sydney Nursing School, Charles Perkins Centre, Johns Hopkins Road, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Research & Evaluation Division, Knowledge Directorate, Public Health Wales, Cardiff CF10 4BZ, UK
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College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
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School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice, Garthdee Campus, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7QE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041700
Received: 7 December 2020 / Revised: 1 February 2021 / Accepted: 4 February 2021 / Published: 10 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Referral and Social Prescribing for Physical Activity)
Physical activity referral schemes (PARS) are implemented internationally to increase physical activity (PA), but evidence of effectiveness for population subgroups is equivocal. We examined gender differences for a Scottish PARS. This mixed-methods, concurrent longitudinal study had equal status quantitative and qualitative components. We conducted 348 telephone interviews across three time points (pre-scheme, 12 and 52 weeks). These included validated self-reported PA and exercise self-efficacy measures and open-ended questions about experiences. We recruited 136 participants, of whom 120 completed 12-week and 92 completed 52-week interviews. PARS uptake was 83.8% (114/136), and 12-week adherence for those who started was 43.0% (49/114). Living in less deprived areas was associated with better uptake (p = 0.021) and 12-week adherence (p = 0.020), and with male uptake (p = 0.024) in gender-stratified analysis. Female adherers significantly increased self-reported PA at 12 weeks (p = 0.005) but not 52 weeks. Males significantly increased exercise self-efficacy between baseline and 52 weeks (p = 0.009). Three qualitative themes and eight subthemes developed; gender perspectives, personal factors (health, social circumstances, transport and attendance benefits) and scheme factors (communication, social/staff support, individualisation and age appropriateness). Both genders valued the PARS. To increase uptake, adherence and PA, PARS should ensure timely, personalised communication, individualised, affordable PA and include mechanisms to re-engage those who disengage temporarily. View Full-Text
Keywords: Physical activity; public health; adherence; uptake; exercise referral; gender; mixed methods Physical activity; public health; adherence; uptake; exercise referral; gender; mixed methods
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hanson, C.L.; Neubeck, L.; Kyle, R.G.; Brown, N.; Gallagher, R.; Clark, R.A.; McHale, S.; Dawkes, S. Gender Differences in Uptake, Adherence and Experiences: A Longitudinal, Mixed-Methods Study of a Physical Activity Referral Scheme in Scotland, UK. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1700. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041700

AMA Style

Hanson CL, Neubeck L, Kyle RG, Brown N, Gallagher R, Clark RA, McHale S, Dawkes S. Gender Differences in Uptake, Adherence and Experiences: A Longitudinal, Mixed-Methods Study of a Physical Activity Referral Scheme in Scotland, UK. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):1700. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041700

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hanson, Coral L., Lis Neubeck, Richard G. Kyle, Norrie Brown, Robyn Gallagher, Robyn A. Clark, Sheona McHale, and Susan Dawkes. 2021. "Gender Differences in Uptake, Adherence and Experiences: A Longitudinal, Mixed-Methods Study of a Physical Activity Referral Scheme in Scotland, UK" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 4: 1700. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041700

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