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OBJECTIVE: Adults with long-term neurological conditions have low levels of participation in physical activities and report many barriers to participation in exercise. This study examines the feasibility and safety of supporting community exercise for people with long-term neurological conditions using a physical activity support system. DESIGN: A phase II randomized controlled trial using computer-generated block randomization, allocation concealment and single blind outcome assessment. SETTING: Oxfordshire and Birmingham community Inclusive Fitness Initiative gyms. SUBJECTS: Patients with a long-term neurological condition. INTERVENTIONS: The intervention group (n = 51) received a 12-week, supported exercise programme. The control group (n = 48) participants received standard care for 12 weeks and were then offered the intervention. MAIN MEASURES: Physical activity, adherence to exercise, measures of mobility, health and well-being. RESULTS: Forty-eight patients (n = 51) completed the intervention, achieving 14 gym attendances (range 0-39) over the 12 weeks. Overall activity did not increase as measured by the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (change score mean 14.31; 95% confidence interval (CI) −8.27 to 36.89) and there were no statistically significant changes in body function and health and well-being measures. CONCLUSIONS: People with long-term neurological conditions can safely exercise in community gyms when supported and achieve similar attendance to standard exercise referral schemes, but may reduce other life activities in order to participate at a gym.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin rehabil

Publication Date





588 - 598


Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Chronic Disease, Community Health Services, Disabled Persons, Exercise, Exercise Tolerance, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Long-Term Care, Male, Middle Aged, Nervous System Diseases, Neuromuscular Diseases, Physical Fitness, Physical Therapy Modalities, Risk Assessment, Sex Factors, Single-Blind Method, Treatment Outcome, United Kingdom