Exercise scheme sees success
By Adam Legge
Patients with high cardiovascular risk become more physically active and those with depression or anxiety feel better after being referred to an exercise programme, compared to those simply given a leaflet, suggests a major new evaluation.
The Welsh National Exercise Referral Scheme involves 16 weeks of exercise tailored to the individual by a qualified trainer and was evaluated by comparing the impact of the scheme on 1080 patients with cardiovascular risk factors or depression, anxiety or stress with a similar group who were given a leaflet and normal care.
At 12 months follow-up those with CV risk factors had 29% higher levels of physical activity than those given a leaflet. Patients with a mental health problem scored significantly better on the hospital anxiety and depression scale compared to those in the control group,
One of the authors of the evaluation Dr Nefyn Williams, a GP in Llanfairfechan and a clinical senior lecturer in general practice at Cardiff University, said: 'Our conclusion is that the scheme is 89% likely to be cost-effective at just over £12,000 per QALY and marginally cost saving for those who adhere to the full programme with a saving of £367 per QALY.'