Background: Motivational interviewing (MI) enhanced with behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and deployed by health trainers targeting multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) may be more effective than interventions targeting a single risk factor. Objectives: The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an enhanced lifestyle motivational interviewing intervention for patients at high risk of CVD in group settings versus individual settings and usual care (UC) in reducing weight and increasing physical activity (PA) were tested. Design: This was a three-arm, single-blind, parallel randomised controlled trial. Setting: A total of 135 general practices across all 12 South London Clinical Commissioning Groups were recruited. Participants: A total of 1742 participants aged 40–74 years with a ≥ 20.0% risk of a CVD event in the following 10 years were randomised. Interventions: The intervention was designed to integrate MI and cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT), delivered by trained healthy lifestyle facilitators in 10 sessions over 1 year, in group or individual format. The control group received UC. Randomisation: Simple randomisation was used with computer-generated randomisation blocks. In each block, 10 participants were randomised to the group, individual or UC arm in a 4: 3: 3 ratio. Researchers were blind to the allocation. Main outcome measures: The primary outcomes are change in weight (kg) from baseline and change in PA (average number of steps per day over 1 week) from baseline at the 24-month follow-up, with an interim follow-up at 12 months. An economic evaluation estimates the relative cost-effectiveness of each intervention. Secondary outcomes include changes in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and CVD risk score. Results: The mean age of participants was 69.75 years (standard deviation 4.11 years), 85.5% were male and 89.4% were white. At the 24-month follow-up, the group and individual intervention arms were not more effective than UC in increasing PA [mean 70.05 steps, 95% confidence interval (CI) –288 to 147.9 steps, and mean 7.24 steps, 95% CI –224.01 to 238.5 steps, respectively] or in reducing weight (mean –0.03 kg, 95% CI –0.49 to 0.44 kg, and mean –0.42 kg, 95% CI –0.93 to 0.09 kg, respectively). At the 12-month follow-up, the group and individual intervention arms were not more effective than UC in increasing PA (mean 131.1 steps, 95% CI –85.28 to 347.48 steps, and mean 210.22 steps, 95% CI –19.46 to 439.91 steps, respectively), but there were reductions in weight for the group and individual intervention arms compared with UC (mean –0.52 kg, 95% CI –0.90 to –0.13 kg, and mean –0.55 kg, 95% CI –0.95 to –0.14 kg, respectively). The group intervention arm was not more effective than the individual intervention arm in improving outcomes at either follow-up point. The group and individual interventions were not cost-effective. Conclusions: Enhanced MI, in group or individual formats, targeted at members of the general population with high CVD risk is not effective in reducing weight or increasing PA compared with UC. Future work should focus on ensuring objective evidence of high competency in BCTs, identifying those with modifiable factors for CVD risk and improving engagement of patients and primary care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-144
Number of pages144
JournalHealth technology assessment (Winchester, England)
Issue number69
Early online date1 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019




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