Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The Activity Counseling Trial
Research Group1 reported that among subjects
randomized to receive advice about exercise, the proportion of patients "meeting
physical activity goals" (defined as moderate or vigorous activity 5 or more
days a week) between baseline and 24 months increased from 1.5% to 16.4% among
men and from 0.8% to 14.3% among women, representing relative increases of
993% (men) and 1688% (women).We believe that the authors should have placed
much greater emphasis on changes from study subjects' baseline condition.
The authors' presentation makes the intervention appear fairly ineffective,
particularly in men, while an examination of the change from baseline makes
the results appear highly effective.
Robbins AS, Fonseca VP. Physical Activity Counseling in Primary Care. JAMA. 2001;286(21):2667-2668. doi:10.1001/jama.286.21.2665