Increasing physical activity levels: connecting primary care to community-based jog Scotland groups

Gozde Ozakinci, Rayna Rogowsky, Kathryn Cunningham, Frank Sullivan, Sharon Carstairs

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract


Background/purpose: Existing evidence on exercise referral schemes suggests that referral to activities based outside of the of the gym may be linked to increased attendance. We aimed to design and pilot a process of connecting patients attending primary care to community-based jogscotland groups and to examine barriers and facilitators of such a pathway for health professionals and patients.

Methods: A realist scoping review of methods of connecting primary care patients with physical activity opportunities was conducted in conjunction with exploratory interviews with primary care health professionals (n=14) and patients (n=14) to investigate effective and acceptable methods of connecting primary care to community-based physical activity.

Results: Three acceptable/effective methods of connection were identified from the review and interviews: 1) passive advertising; 2) formal referral or prescribing; 3) informal signposting. These three methods were then implemented in a feasibility study across NHS Fife GP practices where practices employed one of three connection pathways; poster advertisement in practice, practice issued letter to patient, verbal signposting during consultations each providing details for a local jogscotland group.

Conclusions and implications: This project provided a unique opportunity to develop a partnership between primary care and community-based physical activity groups, signposting patients to a structured and volunteer-led physical activity programme in their community. Given these factors, this example of social prescribing has the strong potential of being successful in promoting behaviour change and achieving positive health outcomes for patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S100-S101
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL 1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2021


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