A group lifestyle intervention program reduced emergency department presentations for people with metabolic syndrome: a retrospective case control study

Dr Casey L Peiris1,2, Professor Nicholas F Taylor1,3, Ms Susan Hull2, Ms Amanda Anderson2, Dr Regina Belski1, Dr Spiros Fourlanos2,4, Professor Nora Shields1,2

1La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, 2Northern Health, Epping, Australia, 3Eastern Health , Box Hill, Australia, 4Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia


To evaluate the effect of an 8-week lifestyle intervention program for people with metabolic syndrome on emergency department presentations, hospital admissions and metabolic parameters.

A retrospective, case-control study of adults (n=58, mean age 60±7 years) with metabolic
Biography:syndrome referred to a group lifestyle self-management intervention program between 2013 and 2015. The intervention program consisted of 8 weekly sessions of group exercise and education delivered in a community health care setting. The intervention group (n=29) was compared to a group of people who declined to attend the program (n=29). Data were collected from the time a participant was referred to the program and all participants were followed for a minimum of 100 days.

Participants who attended the lifestyle intervention program had significantly fewer emergency department presentations [Risk Ratio (RR) 0.31, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.11 to 0.83] and potentially avoidable emergency department presentations (RR 0.06, 95%CI .004 to .097) over the follow-up period. There were no differences between the groups in hospital admissions and there were insufficient data to determine changes in metabolic parameters. Lifestyle group participants increased their exercise capacity [6-minute walk test mean difference (MD) 41m, 95%CI 20 to 62] and had a mild decrease in weight (MD -0.8kg, 95%CI -1.5 to -0.2) and waist circumference (MD -1.3cm, 95%CI -2.1 to -0.6) after 8 weeks.

Significance of findings to allied health:
Implementation of a group lifestyle intervention program to improve activity and self-management skills may assist to decrease emergency department presentations.


Dr Casey Peiris is an academic lecturer and early career researcher who completed a PhD on the effects of additional weekend allied health rehabilitation for inpatients. She is passionate about physical activity, chronic disease and rehabilitation and has published 27 peer-review papers related to these areas which have been cited 303 times. Dr Peiris received her bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy from the University of Melbourne in 2006, her PhD from La Trobe University in 2013.