A Meta-Analytic Review of the Effect of Exercise on Smoking Cessation
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of group exercise programs on smoking cessation. DATA SOURCES: A MEDLINE search, a manual review of journal articles, and a search of previous reviews were used. STUDY SELECTION: Published studies which 1) employed an exercise program for an intervention group and, 2) reported numbers of smokers of both exercise and control groups at baseline and at 6 to 24 months later were selected. DATA EXTRACTION: Five randomized trials were selected. In three of these, smoking cessation was the main aim and exercise was employed for relapse prevention concurrently with or after a group smoking cessation program. The studies produced a moderate qualitative score of 7 to 9 out of a 13 total score of modified DerSimonian's quality checklist. DATA SYNTHESIS: The summary odds ratio of the three studies which primarily aimed at smoking cessation was 2.35 (95% C.I. 0.75-7.31). When the two other studies were added, it dropped to 1.85 (95% C.I. 0.65-5.24). CONCLUSIONS: Due to the small number of studies and the small sample size for each study, the effect remains unclear. Further analysis, both qualitative and quantitative, is necessary to clarify these issues.
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