Physical Activity Counseling by Primary Care Physicians: Attitudes, Knowledge, Implementation, and Perceived Success

  • Background: In physical activity (PA) counseling, primary care physicians (PCPs) play a key role because they are in regular contact with large sections of the population and are important contact people in all health-related issues. However, little is known about their attitudes, knowledge, and perceived success, as well as about factors associated with the implementation of PA counseling. Methods: We collected data from 4074 PCPs including information on physician and practice characteristics, attitudes toward cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, and measures used during routine practice to prevent CVD. Here, we followed widely the established 5 A's strategy (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, Arrange). Results: The majority (87.2%) of PCPs rated their own level of competence in PA counseling as 'high,' while 52.3% rated their own capability to motivate patients to increase PA as 'not good.' Nine of ten PCPs routinely provided at least 1 measure of the modified 5 A's strategy, while 9.5% routinely used all 5 intervention strategies.Background: In physical activity (PA) counseling, primary care physicians (PCPs) play a key role because they are in regular contact with large sections of the population and are important contact people in all health-related issues. However, little is known about their attitudes, knowledge, and perceived success, as well as about factors associated with the implementation of PA counseling. Methods: We collected data from 4074 PCPs including information on physician and practice characteristics, attitudes toward cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention, and measures used during routine practice to prevent CVD. Here, we followed widely the established 5 A's strategy (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, Arrange). Results: The majority (87.2%) of PCPs rated their own level of competence in PA counseling as 'high,' while 52.3% rated their own capability to motivate patients to increase PA as 'not good.' Nine of ten PCPs routinely provided at least 1 measure of the modified 5 A's strategy, while 9.5% routinely used all 5 intervention strategies. Conclusions: The positive attitude toward PA counseling among PCPs should be supported by other stakeholders in the field of prevention and health promotion. An example would be the reimbursement of health counseling services by compulsory health insurance, which would enable PCPs to invest more time in individualized health promotion.show moreshow less

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Author:Katharina Diehl, Manfred Mayer, Frank MayerORCiDGND, Tatiana Görig, Christina Bock, Raphael M. Herr, Sven Schneider
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2013-0273
ISSN:1543-3080 (print)
ISSN:1543-5474 (online)
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=24762394
Parent Title (English):Journal of physical activity and health
Publisher:Human Kinetics Publ.
Place of publication:Champaign
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2015
Year of Completion:2015
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:cardiovascular diseases; general practitioners; prevention
Volume:12
Issue:2
Pagenumber:8
First Page:216
Last Page:223
Funder:German Research Foundation (DFG) [SCHN727/3-1]
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Sportmedizin und Prävention
Peer Review:Referiert