Background: Physical activity contributes to improve health and quality of life. However, the prevalence of sedentary lifestyle is elevated after an acute coronary syndrome. Methods: A randomized controlled trial was performed to evaluate the impact of a pedometer-based program associated with a socio-cognitive intervention on physical activity behaviour, cardiovascular risk factors, and quality of life during the year after an acute coronary syndrome event. During hospitalization, we randomized 32 patients to an experimental group and 33 patients to a usual care group. The experimental intervention included 6 consultations with a clinical nurse specialist during 12 months. Results: Groups characteristics were comparable. At baseline, the percentage of participants considered in the active range category was similar between groups (31% vs 41%; P = 0.915). However, the proportion of participants who were still active was greater in the experimental group than in the usual care group at 6, 9, and 12 months follow-up (75% vs 41%; 68% vs 36%, and 83% vs 55%, respectively; P < 0.05). After 12 months, changes in overall quality of life and in health and the functioning scores were different between groups (interaction effects [groups by time] P = 0.048 and P = 0.036, respectively). Conclusions: The use of a pedometer concomitantly with a socio-cognitive intervention improves adherence to physical activity and quality of life during the year after an acute coronary syndrome event. This finding is relevant because physical activity and quality of life are a great concern in preventive cardiology. These results support applying this innovative approach in cardiac rehabilitation programs. © 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Society.
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