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Evidence-based exercise prescription is facilitated by the Consensus on Exercise Reporting Template (CERT)
  1. Peter Kent1,2,
  2. Peter B O’Sullivan1,
  3. Jennifer Keating3,
  4. Susan C Slade3,4
  1. 1 Department of Physiotherapy, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  2. 2 Department or Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  3. 3 Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Hospital, Malvern, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Peter Kent, School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Kent Street, Bently, Perth, WA 6102, Australia; peter.kent{at}

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Exercise interventions are poorly reported

Exercise is effective for the prevention and management of acute and chronic health conditions. Exercise prescription is sensible when supported by high-quality evidence of effectiveness, and it is likely that the design of an exercise programme (eg, how long a person exercises each day, the duration of a programme, the level of intensity of the exercise) influences programme effectiveness. A meta-epidemiological review of 73 systematic reviews (1216 trials) of exercises reported that only 30% of trial reports provided information required to replicate the investigated exercise programme.1

Consequences of poor reporting

This means that researchers would, in most cases, be unable to replicate and validate trial outcomes for exercise programmes that have been reported to be effective. In addition, clinicians would be unable to accurately implement treatment based on the reported intervention.1 Furthermore, when trials of exercise are pooled in a meta-analysis, pooling of studies of unknown design may lead to incorrect conclusions regarding specific exercise effects.

A logical solution …

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