Buddy-Motivational Interviewing (buddy-MI) to Increase Physical Activity in Community Settings: Study Protocol for a Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial

David Brinson, MHealSc, Mark Wallace-Bell, PhD, Ray Kirk, PhD, Andrew Hornblow, PhD




This article describes the development and evaluation of a novel buddy-motivational interviewing intervention intended to help apparently healthy but relatively sedentary adults to adopt and maintain regular physical activity for health and fitness. Many people experience great difficulty in initiating physical activity (“the getting going problem”) and behavioural regression is common (“the keeping it going problem”). Typically there is a rather large gap between what people know to be healthy and what they actually do. This intervention is an adaptation of motivational interviewing in that it adds client-selected motivational-buddies who can provide in-session input as well as ongoing out-of-session support focused on strengthening clients’ motivation for and movement toward their physical activity goals. A pragmatic parallel group randomised controlled trial with 12-month follow-up aims to deliver and assess the effectiveness of the intervention in a format that could realistically be implemented within primary care, workplaces, schools or other similar setting. The study is due to report clinical effectiveness findings in 2014.

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