The effects of health counseling and exercise training on self-rated health and well-being in middle-aged men: A randomized trial

Elina Engberg, Helena Liira, Katriina Kukkonen-Harjula, Svetlana From, Hannu Kautiainen, Kaisu Pitkälä, Heikki O. Tikkanen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Few community-based lifestyle interventions have examined subjective well-being. We examined the effects of health counseling and exercise training on self-rated health (SRH), self-rated well-being (SRW) and depressive symptoms in middle-aged men at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a randomized controlled trial. METHODS: Men (N.=168) with at least two CVD risk factors engaging in leisure-time physical activity less than three times/week were randomized into: A) a group receiving single-session health counseling; B) a group receiving single-session health counseling and three months of weekly structured group exercise training; or C) a control group. We assessed SRH and SRW using visual analogue scales and depressive symptoms using a brief depression screener (the Patient Health Questionnaire-2, PHQ-2). RESULTS: Generalized estimating equation (GEE) models showed that, after 3 and 12 months, SRH (P=0.024) and SRW (P=0.014) improved across all groups. We found no differences between the groups (group by time effect, P=0.44 and P=0.80). The proportion of men with PHQ-2 scores 3 (positive depression screen) decreased in groups A (from 27% to 13%) and B (from 34% to 18%), but increased among controls (from 26% to 31%) (group by time effect, P=0.078). CONCLUSIONS: We found improvements in SRH and SRW, with a diminishing proportion of men screening positive for depression one year after a single health counseling session and a three-month exercise-training program. We detected, however, no statistically significant differences when comparing men who received health counseling or health counseling combined with exercise training to controls.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)916-922
    Number of pages7
    JournalThe Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
    Volume57
    Issue number6
    Early online date2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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