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Table 2 Characteristics of studies included in analysis stage 2 (n = 11)

From: Impact of universal interventions on social inequalities in physical activity among older adults: an equity-focused systematic review

Study Quality Location Study design Sample characteristics Intervention Physical activity outcome
Longitudinal study designs with two or more comparison groups
 Van Stralen et al. (2010) [57] A, 4 Netherlands Cluster RCT, IG1 (2 MHC) n a = 428, IG2 (2 MHC) n = 455, CG (2 MHC) n = 465
Follow-up = 12 months
≥50 years, community dwelling adults IG1: 3 tailored letters; personalized PA advice targeting psychosocial determinants during 4 months
IG2: IG1 plus tailored environmental information
CG: Waiting-list
Self-report: Dutch SQUASH (total weekly min of PA, transport cycling, transport walking, leisure cycling, leisure walking, gardening, doing odd jobs, sports)
 Peels et al. (2013) [54] A, 4 Netherlands Cluster RCT, IG1 (1 MHC) n a = 275, IG2 (1 MHC) n = 256, IG3 (2 MHC) n = 214, IG4 (1 MHC) n = 193, CG (1 MHC) n = 310
Follow-up = 12 months
≥50 years, community dwelling, sufficient understanding of Dutch language IG1: 3 tailored letters; personalized PA advice targeting psychosocial determinants during 4 months
IG2: IG1 plus tailored environmental information
IG3: Web-based version of IG1
IG4: Web-based version of IG2
CG: Waiting-list
Self-report: Dutch SQUASH (total weekly days of sufficient PA (≥30 min), total weekly min of moderate to vigorous PA)
 Harris et al. (2015) [52] A, 5 UK Cluster RCT, IG (118 households) n a = 142, CG (117 households) n = 138
Follow-up = 3 months
60–74 years, general practice registered patients, no contra-indications to increase PA IG: 4 tailored primary care nurse delivered PA consultations over 3 months, pedometer and accelerometer feedback, individual PA diary and plan
CG: Usual care
Objective: Accelerometer (average daily step-count)
 Poulsen et al. (2007) [55] A, 4 Denmark Prospective controlled randomized follow-up study, IG (17 municipalities) n a = 997, CG (17 municipalities) n = 916
Follow-up 4.5 years
75- and 80-years, non-institutionalized IG: Preventive home visits as part of daily routine in primary care plus education of home visitors over 3 years, group-based education of GPs
CG: Preventive home visits
Self-report: Frequency of PA (‘high’ if >2×/month, ‘low’ if ≤ 1-2×/months)
 Nahm et al. (2010) [53] A, 5 USA RCT, IG n b = 115, CG n = 100
Follow-up = 3 months
≥55 years, access to Internet/e-mail and able to use it independently, able to read and write English IG: Social Cognitive Theory-based Structured Hip Fracture Prevention Website; learning modules, moderated discussion board, diaries
CG: Conventional website
Self-report: Exercise dimension of the YPAS (weekly min of exercise)
 Capodaglio et al. (2007) [47] A, 2 Italy Quasi experimental study, IG n b = 23, CG n = 15
Follow-up = 12 months
70–83 years, healthy, community-dwelling IG: 1-year mixed strength training programme; 2×/week supervised exercise classes in hospital gym and 1×/week home sessions, encouragement of doing 30 min/week outdoor aerobic exercise
CG: No intervention
Self-report: Paquap® (MDEE, aerobic activities >3 MET (AA3), PA intensity classes)
Longitudinal study designs with one group pre-post design
 Croteau & Richeson (2005) [48] C, 3 USA Before-and-after study, n a = 76
Follow-up = 4 months
60–90 years, living in congregate housing/community-dwelling, able to ambulate independently, no contraindications to PA 4-month community-based PA intervention (“A Matter of Health Walking Program”); goal setting, activity selection, self-monitoring, pedometer Objective: Pedometer (daily step count)
 Gellert et al. (2011) [50] C, 3 Germany Before-and-after study, n a = 302
Follow-up = 1 month
>60 years, no medical contraindications to PA Intervention leaflet; goal setting, PA plan Self-report: Adopted version of German-PAQ-50+ (weekly days of PA ≥30 min)
 Fitzpatrick et al. (2008) [49] C, 4 USA Before-and-after study, n b = 418
Follow-up = 5-6 months
98% ≥60 years 4-month community-based PA intervention in senior centers; 16 chair exercises (strength, balance, flexibility, endurance), encouragement of walking, encouragement of doing exercise at home, pedometer Self-report: Exercise items from SDSCA, 1998 BRFSS (daily min of PA)
 Ståhl et al. (2013) [56] C, 3 Sweden Before-and-after study, n b = 195
Follow-up = 5 years
≥65 years 4-year outdoor environment intervention focused on improved accessibility/usability and safety/security as part of the “Let’s go for a walk” project Self-report: Frequency of walking (within residential area) and of activity (within city area)
Cross-sectional study design with control group
 Hallgrimsdottir et al. (2015) [51] NA, 5 Sweden Cross-sectional study, IG n b = 358, CG n = 288 ≥65 years IG: See Stahl et al. [56]
CG: Reference area without environmental intervention
Self-report: See Stahl et al. [56]
  1. For quality assessment see Additional file 3
  2. AbbreviationsNA Not applicable, IG Intervention group, CG Control group, PA Physical activity, MHC Municipal Health Councils, SQUASH Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity, GP General practitioner, YPAS Yale Physical Activity Survey, MDEE Mean daily energy expenditure, MET metabolic equivalent, German-PAQ-50+ German Physical Activity Questionnaire, SDSCA Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities, BRFSS Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  3. aThe numbers reported for sample size (n) correspond to the number of individuals included in analysis for measuring effects on PA
  4. bThe numbers reported for sample size (n) correspond to the number of individuals completing the study