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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Effectiveness of motivational interviewing and physical activity on prescription on leisure exercise time in subjects suffering from mild to moderate hypertension

Mats Sjöling1*, Kristina Lundberg12, Erling Englund3, Anton Westman45 and Miek C Jong16

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden

2 Husum Family Health Centre, County Council of Västernorrland, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden

3 Research and Development Centre, County Council of Västernorrland, Sundsvall, Sweden

4 Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Section of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

5 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

6 Department of Nutrition and Healthcare, Louis Bolk Institute, Driebergen, The Netherlands

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:352  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-352

Published: 12 September 2011



Physical inactivity is considered to be the strongest individual risk factor for poor health in Sweden. It has been shown that increased physical activity can reduce hypertension and the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The objective of the present pilot study was to investigate whether a combination of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Physical Activity on Prescription (PAP) would increase leisure exercise time and subsequently improve health-related variables.


This pilot study was of a repeated measures design, with a 15 months intervention in 31 patients with mild to moderate hypertension. Primary outcome parameter was leisure exercise time and secondary outcome parameters were changes in blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, lipid status, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max). Assessments of the outcome parameters were made at baseline and after 3, 9 and 15 months.


Leisure exercise time improved significantly from < 60 min/week at baseline to a mean activity level of 300 (± 165) minutes/week at 15 months follow up. Furthermore, statistically significant improvements (p < 0.05) were observed in systolic (-14,5 ± 8.3 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (-5,1 ± 5.8 mmHg), heart rate (-4.9 ± 8.7 beats/min, weight (-1.2 ± 3.4 kg) BMI -0.6 ± 1.2 kg/m2), waist circumference (-3.5 ± 4.1 cm) as well as in VO2 max (2.94 ± 3.8 ml/kg and 0.23, ± 0.34 lit/min) upon intervention as compared to baseline.


A 15 month intervention period with MI, in combination with PAP, significantly increased leisure exercise time and improved health-related variables in hypertensive patients. This outcome warrants further research to investigate the efficacy of MI and PAP in the treatment of mild to moderate hypertension.

blood pressure; health related quality of life; leisure exercise time; physical activity; prescriptive counseling