Dr Martyn Queen interviewed 12 patients on three occasions over a year, who were all at a very high risk of developing heart attacks and strokes due to having multiple issues with heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol and lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
All the patients had been referred by their GPs to a gym and received free exercise and nutritional advice. Dr Queen asked them how they felt about their health. He found that the majority believed the scheme had improved their wellbeing, stabilised their medical conditions and that they were able to either maintain or reduce their medications and visits to medical professionals.
Previous research in this area concentrated on statistics to prove medical findings, but Dr Queen wanted to analyse how patients themselves felt about their progress. His research centred on their opinions and he used grounded theory in a longitudinal study.
What was ground breaking, however, was how Dr Queen used this form of research to help build a medical picture with real understanding. The study also examined the referral process from GPs’ perspectives.
Dr Queen is a graduate from the University of St Mark & St John and completed his BEd in Physical Education in 1997. He went on to become a Senior Lecturer at Plymouth City College. He is speaking at the next Israel Wingate International Congress in Sport and Physical Education.
The University of St Mark & St John sponsored his PhD and is looking at using his specialism at the University to analyse the impact of an exercise referral programme on recovering breast and prostate cancer patients.
Dr Queen said, ‘My findings demonstrate the value of a long-term physical activity and intervention in a Primary Care setting and that long-term engagement with an exercise referral scheme can positively affect patients self-assessed health status. Therefore, the value of physical activity interventions needs to be promoted more within Primary Care.’
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