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

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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
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in public health
Early online date16 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 16 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The SITLESS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement number 634270. RV is a PhD scholar of Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, I.P. (FCT), Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal (Grant number: SFRH/BD/13164/2022).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Viegas, Alves da Costa, Mendes, Deidda, McIntosh, Sansano-Nadal, Magaña, Rothenbacher, Denkinger, Caserotti, Tully, Roqué-Figuls and Giné-Garriga.


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


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