Identifying Subgroups That Succeed or Fail With Three Levels of Physical Activity Intervention: The Activity Counseling Trial

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The authors used recursive partitioning methods to identify combinations of baseline characteristics that predict 2-year physical activity success in each of 3 physical activity interventions delivered in the multisite Activity Counseling Trial. The sample consisted of 874 initially sedentary primary care patients, ages 35–75 years, who were at risk for cardiovascular disease. Predictors of 2-year success were specific to each intervention and represented a range of domains, including physiological, demographic, psychosocial, health-related, and environmental variables. The results indicate how specific patient subgroups (e.g., obese, unfit individuals; high-income individuals in stable health) may respond differently to varying levels and amounts of professional assistance and support. The methods used provide a practical first step toward identifying clinically meaningful patient subgroups for further systematic investigation.

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