The effectiveness of physical activity monitoring and distance counselling in an occupational health setting - a research protocol for a randomised controlled trial (CoAct)

Reijonsaari, Karita; Vehtari, Aki; van Mechelen, Willem; Aro, Timo; Taimela, Simo
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p494
Academic Journal
Background: The CoAct (Cocreating Activity) study is investigating a novel lifestyle intervention, aimed at the working population, with daily activity monitoring and distance counselling via telephone and secure web messages. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of lifestyle counselling on the level of physical activity in an occupational health setting. The purposes include also analysing the potential effects of changes in physical activity on productivity at work and sickness absence, and healthcare costs. This article describes the design of the study and the participant flow until and including randomization. Methods/Design: CoAct is a randomised controlled trial with two arms: a control group and intervention group with daily activity monitoring and distance counselling. The intervention focuses on lifestyle modification and takes 12 months. The study population consists of volunteers from 1100 eligible employees of a Finnish insurance company. The primary outcomes of this study are change in physical activity measured in MET minutes per week, work productivity and sickness absence, and healthcare utilisation. Secondary outcomes include various physiological measures. Cost-effectiveness analysis will also be performed. The outcomes will be measured by questionnaires at baseline, after 6, 12, and 24 months, and sickness absence will be obtained from the employer's registers. Discussion: No trials are yet available that have evaluated the effectiveness of daily physical activity monitoring and distance counselling in an occupational health setting over a 12 month period and no data on cost-effectiveness of such intervention are available. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00994565


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