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Table 5 How the results about physical activity from the seven studies that were included in more than one review were reported in each review

From: How explicable are differences between reviews that appear to address a similar research question? A review of reviews of physical activity interventions

Primary study Dobbins and Beyers, 1999[[12]] Fogelholm & Lahti-Koski, 2002[[16]] King, 1998[[17]] Pate, 2000[[18]] Sharpe, 2003[[16]] Study results reported similarly by reviews?
Brownson et al., 1996 [61] ‘No statistically significant treatment effects’ ‘Did not observe any significant intervention effects on physical activity […] thought there was trend towards increased physical activity in the intervention areas’ -   - Same
Welsh heart project (Table 3) ‘Statistically significant effect in favor of the control group’ [39, 40] ‘Did not observe any significant intervention effects on physical activity’ [39] -   - Different
Brownell et al., 1980 [62] - - ‘Demonstrated that placing simple signs at choice points in public places […] could have a positive impact on stair use’   ‘Posting signs to encourage stair use instead of the elevator, have resulted in increases of 5-18% while the sign was posted’ Same
Heirich et al., 1993 [63] - - ‘Employees at sites that offered [intervention] reported exercising at least three times per week, compared to only about one- third of employees at the control site”   ‘Some worksite programs have shown at least short-term effectiveness in increasing employees’ physical activity levels […]’ Same
Minnesota Heart Health Program (Table 3) ‘No statistically significant treatment effects’; Author referenced two publications [31, 61] ‘The residents of the intervention communities of the Minnesota Heart Health Study were somewhat more physically active (self-reported) at the end of the follow-up. The increased physical activity was apparently due to an increase in activities with a low intensity’ For a special school-based element of the study ‘Girls in the intervention communities reported significantly greater amounts of exercise than girls in control communities. Boys showed a similar tendency, but the difference […] was smaller.”Author referenced three publications [2931] ‘Some evidence that regular physical activity increased in experimental communities relative to control communities’ And ‘mass media approaches were most successful in heightening physical activity-related awareness and knowledge whereas setting-specific programs strategies that occurred over a period of time, such as those conducted in schools and worksites, were more cost- effective in increasing actual levels of physical activity participation’; Author referenced two publications [26, 31] ‘Physical activity levels throughout most of the follow up period were significantly higher in the intervention community for females […] The class of 89 study could not distinguish between community and classroom effects but modest nature of the school-based activities suggests that the community based activities played an important role in the generally positive outcomes.’ Author referenced four publications [2931, 34] ‘Cohort data […] revealed an increase in physical activity in all of the communities,with the intervention communities slightly exceeding the comparison communities at the last follow-up survey’ and ’the exposure data suggest that the Minnesota Heart Health Program may not have added a great deal to the level of risk reduction activity that would have been expected without the program’; Author also reported an intervention effect for girls in the school based sub-study Author referenced one publication [31] Different
Stanford 5 city (Table 3 ‘One project reported a statistically significant treatment ‘In the Stanford Five- City Project, the intervention had a positive effect on physical activity in the independent, cross-sectional samples, but not in the cohort survey’; Author referenced two publications [36, 37] ‘Some positive, albeit modest, treatment effects were found after 6 years of intervention in the physical activity area relative to the control communities’; Author referenced two publications [28, 38] ‘They clearly represent the feasibility of a community based approach to the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity’; Author referenced one publication [35] ‘The educational intervention had little, if any, impact on physical activity’; Author referenced one publication [38] Different