Table 1

Description of the PARS

Phase I: getting the referralWho is eligible to get the referral within PARS? Who can give the referral? What kind of physical activity can be prescribed? Evaluation measures
Phase II: the implementation of the programmeWho will deliver the programme? Where will the programme be delivered? What is the duration of the programme?
Phase III: financial planningHow is it funded? Who pays for the programme? What are the patients costs? What are the financial incentives for providers?
Phase IV: possible obstacles to programme sustainabilityIndirect patient costs (transport, equipment). Psychological obstacles (low self-confidence, etc). Organisational obstacles (facilities or programme was not patient-centred). Communication between patients and providers.
Phase V: effectivenessComparing the level of physical activity before and after the programme started.Comparing the adherence rate during the programme and after the programme is finished. Comparing the level of mental health before and after the programme.Comparing the clinical outcomes before and after the programme.
  • Source: Dugdill L, Graham RC, McNair F. Exercise referral: the public health panacea for physical activity promotion? A critical perspective of exercise referral schemes; their development and evaluation. Ergonomics 2005;48(11–14):1390–410.

  • PARS, physical activity on prescription schemes.