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Table 2 Description of study, participants, intervention and retention rates

From: Do physical activity interventions in Indigenous people in Australia and New Zealand improve activity levels and health outcomes? A systematic review

Study Ethnicity, location; Study design and size; Participant characteristics and age. Study title and aim Intervention Study retention rates
Biddle et al. [48] Pacific Islanders, Auckland, New Zealand; RCT, N = 20 (control n = 9, intervention n = 11); Mixed genders, age: 34.8 ± 12.6 years. Randomised controlled trial of informal team sports for cardiorespiratory fitness and health benefits in Pacific adults.
Assess the effectiveness of small-sided games-based exercise on fitness and health parameters among Pacific adults over four weeks.
3 × 45 minute training sessions per week, consisting of small-sided games such as volleyball, touch rugby and cricket. Intervention: 82%
Control: 78%
Canuto et al. [49] Indigenous Australians, Adelaide, Australia; RCT, N = 101 (control n = 49, intervention n = 51); All female, age: Control: 40.7 years (CI: 37.7–43.6), Intervention: 39.8 (CI: 36.7–43.1). Pragmatic randomised trial of a 12-week exercise and nutrition program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: clinical results immediate post and 3 months follow-up.
Evaluate the effectiveness of a 12 week structured exercise and nutrition program.
Structured 12 week group fitness program including exercise classes, incidental activity and walking and nutrition workshops. Intervention: 57%
Control: 61%
Chan et al. [43] Indigenous Australians, urban Queensland, Australia; Cohort, N = 101 (females n = 69, males n = 63); Mixed gender, age: Diabetics: 56.5 years (52.8–60.1), Non-diabetics: 43 years (39–47). Short-term efficacy of a lifestyle intervention programme on cardiovascular health outcome in overweight Indigenous Australians with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus: The healthy lifestyle programme (HELP).
Determine the effectiveness of lifestyle intervention on improving diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors.
The lifestyle intervention was a community based education program including self-monitoring of fasting glucose and monitoring of physical activity with a pedometer. 80%
Coppell et al. [50] Māori, rural East Coast of New Zealand; Interrupted time-series, n = 286 (Survey 1), n = 236 (Survey 2); Mixed genders, age survey 1: 50.25 years (female), 51.4 years (male), survey 2: 49.35 years (female), 50.95 years (male) Two-year results from a community-wide diabetes prevention intervention in a high risk indigenous community: the Ngati and Healthy project.
To reduce the prevalence of insulin resistance in a high risk community.
Local community health promotion programs, a community education program for high risk individuals including cooking classes, exercise class and opportunistic weigh ins. Survey 1: 48.5%
Survey 2: 47.7%
Davey et al. [40] Aboriginal Australians, Tasmania, Australia;
Cohort, n = 92 (females n = 56, males n = 36);
Mixed genders, age: ≤ 49 (n = 35), 50–59 years (n = 35), >60 years (n = 22).
Tasmanian Aborigines step up to health: evaluation of a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and secondary prevention program.
To create an ongoing sustainable program of direct benefit to participants and promote the benefits of physical activity to other Aboriginal health service programs and the wider Aboriginal community.
8-week program consisting of two supervised exercise sessions (1hour) and one educational session (1 hour) per week. 78%
Dimer et al. [51] Indigenous Australians, Metropolitan area, Western Australia, Australia; Cohort, n = 98 (females n = 63, males n = 35); Mixed gender, age: 55 ± 13 (19–82). Build it and they will come: outcomes from a successful cardiac rehabilitation program at an Aboriginal medical service.
Evaluate the uptake and effects on lifestyle, and cardiovascular risk factors, of cardiac rehabilitation at an Aboriginal Medical Service.
Exercise prescription and education sessions over 8 weeks Stationary cycling and dumbbell exercises were prescribed and supervised. An outdoor walking group was implemented and participants were asked to record their activity levels. Education sessions included diet, nutrition, risk factor modification and medication usage. 29%
Egger et al. [42] Torres Strait Islanders, Australia; Cohort, n = 47;
Male only, age: 41 years ± 12.3 years.
Abdominal obesity reduction in indigenous men.
To decrease bodyweight and body fat in Indigenous males in the Torres Strait Islands.
There were four lifestyle messages for the program, which included: reducing fat intake, increasing dietary fibre, increasing daily movement, and changing obesogenic habits.
The program was delivered in groups via audio-taped conversations.
Gracey et al. [52] Aboriginal Australians, Remote Western Australia, Australia;
Cohort, n = 416; Mixed gender, age: 38.7 ± 14.9 [18–82years] (male), 41.0 ± 17.4 [18–88years] (female).
An Aboriginal-driven program to prevent, control and manage nutrition-related “lifestyle” diseases including diabetes.
To heighten awareness about lifestyle diseases and promote healthier living through better diet and regular physical activity.
Increase awareness of and promotion of healthier living through better nutrition and the encouragement of regular exercise, sports and active recreation. Not specified
McAuley et al. [36] Māori, New Zealand; Cohort, n = 36 (female n = 28, male n = 8);
Mixed gender, age: 41.3 years [2460].
Implementation of a successful lifestyle intervention programme for New Zealand Māori to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
To reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Participants were prescribed individual diet and exercise programs. In addition, participants were invited to exercise sessions four times per week and a healthy food sessions once a month in the form of a cooking group. 86%
Mendham et al. [41] Indigenous Australians, Regional New South Wales, Australia; RCT, N = 26 (control n = 10, intervention n = 16);
All male, age: 39.5 ± 10.6 years (intervention), 36.1 ± 16.1 years (control).
A 12-week sports-based exercise programme for inactive Indigenous Australian men improved clinical risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
To assess changes in clinical risk-factors following a 12-week exercise program.
Supervised group-based cardiovascular and resistance exercises were conducted at a local fitness centre over 12 weeks. Intervention = 41%
Control = 63%
O’Dea [39] Indigenous Australians, Remote Western Australia, Australia; Cohort, n = 14 (diabetics n = 10, non-diabetics n = 4); Mixed, age: 59.3 ± 1.8 years (diabetics), 52.3 ± 4.3 years (non-diabetic). Marked improvement in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic Australian Aborigines after temporary reversion to traditional lifestyle.
Improve all aspects of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism that are linked to insulin resistance after temporary revision to traditional lifestyle.
Participants were taken to a remote location and lived a hunter/gatherer lifestyle for 7 weeks. 100%
Rowley et al. [35] Aboriginal Australians, Remote Western Australia, Australia; Cohort, n = 96; Mixed gender, age: 49 ± 3 years (intervention), 43 ± 4 years (control). Effectiveness of a community-directed ‘healthy lifestyle’ program in a remote Australian aboriginal community.
Assess the sustainability and effectiveness of a community-directed program for primary and secondary prevention of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in an Aboriginal Community.
Formal and informal education sessions about nutrition, regular physical activity sessions such as hunting groups, sports (2–3 sessions) and walking groups (3–4 times per week, for an hour) and walking groups. 51%
Sukala et al. [53] Polynesian (New Zealand Māori, Cook Island Māori, Samoan, Fijian, Tokelauan & Tongan), Porirua, New Zealand; Cohort, n = 18 (females n = 13, males n = 5); Mixed genders, age: 49 ± 5 years. Exercise improves Quality of Life in Indigenous Polynesian peoples With type 2 diabetes and visceral obesity.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the differential effects of 2, group-based exercise modalities on quality of life (QoL) in indigenous Polynesian peoples with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and visceral obesity.
Intervention included 3 exercise sessions per week (40–60minutes), consisting of resistance training and aerobic training. 69%