Long-term Functioning and Well-Being Outcomes Associated with Physical Activity and Exercise in Patients with Chronic Conditions in the Medical Outcomes Study

Published In: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, v. 47, no. 7, July 1994, p. 719-730

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1994

by Anita Stewart, Ron D. Hays, Kenneth B. Wells, William H. Rogers, Karen Spritzer, Sheldon Greenfield

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Describes the effects of exercise on outcomes for approximately 1,800 adult patients with one or more of six conditions: diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, recent heart attack, depressive symptoms, or current depressive disorder. Outcome measures included physical, role, and social functioning; energy/fatigue; pain intensity; sleep problems; depressed affect, anxiety, positive affect, and overall psychological distress and well-being; health distress; and current health perceptions. This study, which was not a randomized, controlled trial, measured exercise at baseline and examined outcomes two years later, after controlling for confounding variables. It found that higher baseline levels of exercise were uniquely associated with better functioning and well-being at baseline and two years later for some measures. The magnitude of the differences varied by disease group but tended to be between about 0.2 and 0.4 of the baseline standard deviation. Greater levels of exercise were associated with feeling and functioning better for patients with chronic disease over a two-year period, indicating that further study is needed, using a controlled intervention.

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