Background: An individual's current status of physical activity and nutrition and readiness to change can be determined using PACE assessment forms. Practitioners have suggested that feedback on the fitness and health components can produce a change in a subject's awareness of their behaviour and thereby lead to a beneficial change in stage of behaviour change. Objective: To evaluate the short term effect of personalised feedback on fitness and health status on self reported appraisal of the stage of change. Methods: A total of 299 civil servants were randomised to an intervention or a reference group. After having been tested for fitness and health, the intervention group received immediate feedback on their test results, whereas the reference group did not. PACE assessment forms were completed twice: before testing and after testing (reference group), or after testing and feedback (intervention group). The time interval between was one hour. The influence of feedback was determined using a x 2 test and analysis of variance. Results: On the basis of the x 2 test, no significant effect of feedback was found on the stage of change of physical activity, nor on the stage of change with regard to nutrition. Analysis of variance results showed no significant effect on the raw PACE score as to physical activity, intake of fruit and vegetables and dietary fat. However, a significant effect was observed on the PACE score of "calorie intake and weight management". Subjects in the intervention group significantly more often regressed on their PACE score on this topic than the reference subjects. Conclusions: Feedback at baseline on measurements of an intervention study can influence PACE scores and can be considered as a small but relevant start of the intervention itself.
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