Measure It!: A very brief intervention for physical activity behaviour change in cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation attendees find it difficult to adhere to important physical activity guidelines. We have found that when clinicians regularly measure physical activity (taking <5 minutes), this simple intervention can increase physical activity levels in insufficiently active adults. ‘Measure It!’ includes a self-report and objective measure of physical activity (wearable activity tracker steps) plus very brief physical activity advice. This promising, efficient, and scalable approach to increasing physical activity engagement and adherence among insufficiently active cardiac rehabilitation attendees if effective, will improve recovery following a heart event and reduce the risk of repeat events.

Our team will test two frequencies of physical activity measurement (2 and 5 measurements in total) by cardiac rehabilitation clinicians over 24-weeks. This hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial will recruit 190 insufficiently active cardiac rehabilitation attendees from 5 cardiac rehabilitation programs in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. Daily minutes of accelerometer moderate-to-vigorous physical activity will be the primary effectiveness outcome. Implementation outcomes will include acceptability, appropriateness, adoption, costs and sustainability. Partnering with public and private hospitals and the Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association will allow us to undertake this translational research, leading to cardiac rehabilitation clinicians adapting best practices faster, informed by what consumers want.

The Team

  • Assoc Prof Nicole Freene, University of Canberra
  • Prof Rachel Davey, University of Canberra
  • Prof Steven McPhail, Queensland University of Technology
  • Prof Robyn Gallagher, University of Sydney
  • Dr Breanne Kunstler, Monash University
  • Dr Zephanie Tyack, Queensland University of Technology
  • Prof Walter Abhayaratna, Australian National University
  • Assoc Prof Richard Keegan, University of Canberra
  • Assoc Prof Theophile Niyonsenga, University of Canberra
  • Dr Christian Verdicchio, University of Sydney