Relationship of the SITLESS intervention on medication use in community-dwelling older adults: an exploratory study

Ruben Viegas, Filipa Alves da Costa, Romeu Mendes, Manuela Deidda, Emma McIntosh, Oriol Sansano-Nadal, Juan Carlos Magaña, Dietrich Rothenbacher, Michael Denkinger, Paolo Caserotti, Mark A. Tully, Marta Roqué-Figuls, Maria Giné-Garriga

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review


Background: Sedentary behavior (SB) and physical activity (PA) interventions in older adults can improve health outcomes. Problems related with aging include prevalent comorbidity, multiple non-communicable diseases, complaints, and resulting polypharmacy. This manuscript examines the relationship between an intervention aiming at reducing SB on medication patterns. Method: This manuscript presents a local sub-analysis of the SITLESS trial data on medication use. SITLESS was an exercise referral scheme (ERS) enhanced by self-management strategies (SMS) to reduce SB in community-dwelling older adults. We analyzed data from the ERS + SMS, ERS and usual care (UC) groups. Patient medication records were available at baseline and at the end of the intervention (4-month period) and were analyzed to explore the effect of SITLESS on medication patterns of use. Result: A sample of 75 participants was analyzed, mostly older overweight women with poor body composition scores and mobility limitations. There was a significant reduction of 1.6 medicines (SD = 2.7) in the ERS group (p < 0.01), but not in the UC or ERS + SMS groups. Differences were more evident in medicines used for short periods of time. Conclusion: The findings suggest that an exercise-based program enhanced by SMS to reduce SB might influence medication use for acute conditions but there is a need to further investigate effects on long-term medicine use in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1238842
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • intervention
  • medication use
  • older adults
  • physical activity
  • primary health care
  • sedentary behavior


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