The PAC Project: Integrating a Physical Activity Counsellor in the Primary Health Care Team

2014-08-27 03:48:51 | BioPortfolio


The Physical Activity Counselling (PAC) randomized controlled trial had as overall goal the establishment of a collaborative interdisciplinary primary care team to encourage physical activity. The main intervention was to integrate a physical activity counsellor to the primary care team so that the most appropriate care was given by the most appropriate provider. Much research has shown and many experts agree that patients need significant help to make and especially maintain physical activity behavior changes. Maintenance of these changes is essential for optimal health benefits. It was predicted that patients receiving both brief (2-4 minute) physical activity counselling from their family physician and intensive (3 month) physical activity counselling from an integrated physical activity counsellor (intensive counselling group) would report greater improvements in task motivation and task self-efficacy to engage in physical activity at the end of the intervention than those receiving only brief counselling (brief counselling group). The same was expected for both self-reported and objective physical activity. This RCT involved testing a theory-based counselling intervention, determining why the intervention was effective or ineffective by measuring key psychological mediating variables, using an objective measure to track changes in physical activity, and assessing physical and metabolic outcomes. This project represents an innovative theoretically based multi-level multi-intervention approach to promoting physical activity in primary care and is of great public health importance.


Family doctors and nurses (health care providers – HCP) recommend that their patients are physically active because this is one of the most important things that patients can do to benefit their health. The Physical Activity Counselling (PAC) randomized controlled trial examined what happens when a physical activity counsellor is added to the family health care team. For the project, HCPs did a brief, 2-4 minute counselling session with their patients who reported doing less than 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Half (59) of the patients in the PAC Project only received this brief counselling from their HCP (brief counselling group) while the other half (61) also received six sessions with the physical activity counsellor over a three month period (intensive counselling group). The purpose of the project was to compare these 2 groups. The HCPs and the PAC used the 7 As shared-care model for physical activity counselling in primary care (Fortier et al., 2006). The HCPs and the PAC tried to help the patients want to (be motivated to) and to feel able to (be confident that they can) increase their level of physical activity. A number of validated questionnaires as well as some interviews were used to look at the effects of the counselling on motivation, confidence and physical activity. As well patients wore wear a small gadget known as an accelerometer to measure their actual physical activity. Quality of life was measured in all patients. Some patients (one third) had physical and metabolic testing three times during the trial. The cost of adding a PAC to a family health care team was also assessed.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label


Physical Inactivity


Intensive physical activity counselling by an integrated physical activity counsellor


Montfort Hospital
K1K 0T1




University of Ottawa

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:48:51-0400

Clinical Trials [6200 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

Nutrition and Physical Activity in Patients With Cerebrovascular Disease

The study will provide evidence of eating habits and physical activity in cerebrovascular patients in Luxembourg and of the degree to which these habits may be changed acutely (after one m...

SuPRA: Using Wearable Activity Trackers With a New Application to Improve Physical Activity in Knee Osteoarthritis

Physical activity is an essential first-line treatment for patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, only 13% of patients meet the activity recommendation of 150 minutes or more per...

Strategies to Promote Physical Activity

Getting regular physical activity has many health benefits. Current physical activity programs often encourage people to track their physical activity as a way to motivate them to continue...

Objective Assessment of Physical Activity in Before-school Physical Activity Programs

This study will determine the effectiveness of a free before-school physical activity program, BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success), in increasing objectively measured physical activity levels a...

Walk to School and Physical Activity

The purpose of the proposed study is to determine the effect of walking to school for one week on total physical activity and patterns of physical activity in third, fourth and fifth grade...

PubMed Articles [27486 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Pokémon GO and Physical Activity in Asia: Multilevel Study.

Physical activity has long been considered as an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Although many efforts have been made to promote physical activity, there is no effective global interventio...

The impact of physical activity measured by the International Physical Activity questionnaire on the prevalence of stress urinary incontinence in young women.

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of SUI symptoms in sportswomen (with a high intensity of physical activity) and non-sportswomen (with a low intensity of physical activity), accor...

The utility of two interview-based physical activity questionnaires in healthy young adults: Comparison with accelerometer data.

Accurate assessment of physical activity is essential to determine the magnitude of the health-related benefits of regular physical activity. While physical activity questionnaires are easy to use, th...

Barriers and facilitators to physical activity among urban residents with diabetes in Nepal.

Physical activity is an important component of type 2 diabetes management. Physical activity level among general population in Nepal is reported to vary considerably. However, knowledge on physical ac...

The Effect of Organized Versus Supervised Recess on Elementary School Children's Participation, Physical Activity, Play, and Social Behavior: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.

Recess strategies that increase children's physical activity and contribute to the daily 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) are recommended.

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Physical activity which is usually regular and done with the intention of improving or maintaining PHYSICAL FITNESS or HEALTH. Contrast with PHYSICAL EXERTION which is concerned largely with the physiologic and metabolic response to energy expenditure.

The time span between the beginning of physical activity by an individual and the termination because of exhaustion.

The physical activity of a human or an animal as a behavioral phenomenon.

Usual level of physical activity that is less than 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week.

The enteric, parasympathetic, and sympathetic nervous systems taken together. Generally speaking, the autonomic nervous system regulates the internal environment during both peaceful activity and physical or emotional stress. Autonomic activity is controlled and integrated by the central nervous system, especially the hypothalamus and the solitary nucleus, which receive information relayed from VISCERAL AFFERENTS; these and related central and sensory structures are sometimes (but not here) considered to be part of the autonomic nervous system itself.

More From BioPortfolio on "The PAC Project: Integrating a Physical Activity Counsellor in the Primary Health Care Team"

Quick Search


Relevant Topics

Within medicine, nutrition (the study of food and the effect of its components on the body) has many different roles. Appropriate nutrition can help prevent certain diseases, or treat others. In critically ill patients, artificial feeding by tubes need t...

Public Health
Alternative Medicine Cleft Palate Complementary & Alternative Medicine Congenital Diseases Dentistry Ear Nose & Throat Food Safety Geriatrics Healthcare Hearing Medical Devices MRSA Muscular Dyst...

Searches Linking to this Trial