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Table 1 Summary of included studies

From: Adherence to exercise referral schemes by participants – what do providers and commissioners need to know? A systematic review of barriers and facilitators

First Author & year Design & Quality Intervention Venue Duration (weeks) Population
Beaufort Research 2013 [49] CSSc Welsh National ERS LC 16 Wales; N = 1000; Age ≥18
Beers 2006 [21] Qualitativeb Free access to advice and facilities – ELC participants LC 12 Wirral; N = 181; Age 16–79
Carroll 2002 [19] Qualitativea GP referred - activities including gym, swimming and aerobics LC Varied Mid and North England; N = 35; South Asian Muslim women; plus 10 GP referrers, 13 scheme providers
Clarke 1996 [43] CSSb GP referred ERS with personalised counselling and tailored exercise prescription LC 12 Birmingham; N = 500; mean age ca 46 [SD ca 14.0]; 69 % F; 40 % social class IV/V
Cock 2006 [35] Qualitativec GP referred ERS (5 schemes); activities included gym-, water- and hall-based exercises LC 10–13 South & North England; N = 1024
Crone 2002 [22] Qualitativeb GP referred ERS (3 schemes) Varied Ca 12 North & South West England; N = 18; mean age 55.5 years; F13 M5
Crone 2005 [54]
Cummings 2010 [44] CSSb Exercise for Health programme; walking, gym, swim, cycle and class-based exercises Not stated Not stated Northern Ireland; N = 210; mean age 54.8 ± 15.7; F106 M104
Day 2001 [50] CSSc Exercise for Health programme; consultation & follow up Varied 8 Scottish borders; N = 324
Graham 2006 [23] Qualitativeb GP referred ERS - Consultation, exercise, review. LC/G 14 North West England; N = 985
Hardcastle 2002 [24], 2001 [55], 2005 [56] Qualitativeb ERS - Gym-and class-based activities LC 10 East Sussex; N = 8; Age 43–77 years; all female
Joyce 2010 [36] Qualitativec ERS (some GP referred) - Gym membership on prescription for patients with obesity related conditions G 12 County Durham; N = 25 in community; GP ERS N = 5; F3 M2; 4/5 were >50 years old
Khanam 2008 [45] CSSb GP referred ERS- 3 gym sessions per week (overweight women) LC Not stated East London; N = 25; Age 30–60 mean age 47.3 (SD 9.1); all F; Bangladeshi; Muslim
Lord 1995 [37] Qualitativec GP referred ERS −3 sessions per week LC 10 Stockport; N = 252; Ag 30–55; F198 53 M53 1 Unknown; Socially deprived area; plus 6 referrers, 7 scheme providers
Markland 2010 [46] CSSb GP referred ERS [no further description] Not stated 10 UK (location not stated); N = 136; mean age 54.5; (SD 12.9); range 23–80; all F.
Martin 1999 [25] Qualitativeb GP referred ERS LC/G 10 Margate Kent; N = 77; mean age 53 years; F39 M28
Mills 2008 [26], 2012 [57] Qualitativeb Primary care referred ERS including gym-based sessions and swimming LC 26 Inner London; N = 17; mean age 54.7 (SD 12.4); range 31–68); F13 M4; plus 7 referrers, 4 scheme providers
Morton 2008 [47] CSSb ERS (no detail) - Two sessions per week LC Ca 10–12 UK (location not stated); N = 30; mean age 51.9 years; F22 M8
Murphy 2010 [27] Qualitativeb GP referred ERS with discounted sessions in six centres LC 16 Wales; N = 32 participants; CHD risk factors
Moore 2013 [58]
Myron 2009 [38] Qualitativec GP referred ERS - 2 centres Varied Not stated UK (location not stated); N not stated. Mean age 42, range 20–72; 71 % F.
Rahman 2011 [48] CSSb GP referred ERS; free of charge – 2 sessions per week LC 12 UK (location not stated); N = 653; 18–83 years; F = 68.6 %. M = 31.4 %
Schmidt 2008 [28] Qualitativeb GP or health professional referred ERS -Specialist advice and low cost access to facilities Not stated 20 Amsterdam, Netherlands; N = 523; Low SES and ethnic minority women aged 24–55
Sharma 2012 [29] Qualitativeb Health professional referred ERS - 2 supervised gym sessions per week LC   South London; N = 9; 37–61 year; F4 M5; stroke survivors
Shaw 2012 [30] Qualitativeb GP referred for pre-exercise screening, health coaching (3 sessions) and community based exercise Varied 52 Paisley, Scotland; N = 174; mean age 69.9 years; 43 M41; patients with stable coronary heart disease
Singh 1997 [39] Qualitativec GP referred supervised ERS – 20 sessions free, 20 half price LC Not stated South East London; N = 13; age range 30–61; F11 M2
Stathi 2004 [31] Qualitativeb Supervised ERS – gym and class based activities LC Not stated South West England; N = 13; age range 63–79; F5 M8
Tai 1999 [51] Longitudinala GP referred ERS -Tailored programme of 20 sessions LC 10 Inner London; N = 152; age range 16–75; F108 M44
Taket 2006 [32] Qualitativeb GP referred pilot ERS – three exercise consultations plus phone calls – walking, gardening, classes Not stated 52 Inner London; N = 225; Age 44–65; F 22 M15; Type II diabetics; plus 14 non participants, 32 health professionals
Gauvin 2007 [59]
Taylor 1996 [40] Qualitativec[within RCT] GP referred ERS with 20 sessions at half cost – included rowing, cycling, step machine and treadmill sessions. LC 10 Hailsham, East Sussex; N = 142; age range 40–70 years; patients with CHD risk factors
Taylor 1998 [60]
Walsh 2012 [41] Qualitativec Local authority subsidised exercise programme Not stated 12 UK (location not stated); N = 2101, ≥age 45; chronic joint pain/osteo-arthritis; plus 88 scheme providers
Ward 2007 [42] Qualitativec GP referred Welsh Heartlinks programme - ERS, Tai Chi, SlimSwim; motivational interviews Varied 52 Merthyr Tydfil, Wales; N = 317; 24–88 years; F212 M105; plus 3 referrers
Wiles 2008 [20] Qualitativea Physiotherapy referred ERS - 3 schemes LC Not stated South England; N = 9; age range 18–78 years; 1 F 8 M; stroke survivors; plus 15 physios, 6 scheme providers
Wiles 2007 [61]
Wormold 2004 [33] Qualitativeb GP referred ERS – 4 schemes LC 10 North Yorkshire; N = 30; Age range 25–84; 20 F 10 M
Wormold 2006 [34] Qualitativeb Active Lifestyles service including ERS Varied 10–12 Kingston upon Hull; N = 16; Mean age 53; range 15–73; 11 F 5 M; urban deprived;
  1. Where more than one paper relates to a study, the main study paper is highlighted in bold
  2. CSS Cross sectional survey, ELC Exercise and Life Style Centre, ERS Exercise referral scheme, F Female, G Gym, LC Leisure Centre, M Male, SD Standard deviation
  3. Key to quality checklist scores [16]:
  4. aAll or most of the checklist criteria have been fulfilled, and where they have not been fulfilled the conclusions are very unlikely to alter
  5. bSome of the checklist criteria have been fulfilled, and where they have not been fulfilled, or are not adequately described, the conclusions are unlikely to alter
  6. cFew or no checklist criteria have been fulfilled and the conclusions are likely or very likely to alter