Article

Recommendations by Queensland GPs to be more physically active: which patients were recommended which activities and what action they took

Citation

Robertson R, Jepson R, Shepherd A & McInnes R (2011) Recommendations by Queensland GPs to be more physically active: which patients were recommended which activities and what action they took. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35 (6), pp. 537-542. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-6405.2011.00779.x

Abstract
Objective: To ascertain the extent to which general practitioners in Queensland, Australia recommend physical activity to their patients. In addition, the types of patients they most commonly target, the types of activities they suggest, and how patients respond to the recommendations.  Methods: Questions designed to answer the research objectives were included in the Queensland Social Survey. Univariate, bivariate and logistic regression analyses were employed linking relevant variables with demographic data available from the survey.  Results: 1261 people completed the survey. In the previous year, 225 (18%) of them were recommended by a general practitioner to do more physical activity. These people were more likely to have a higher body mass index (OR=1.02; 95%CI = 1.01-1.03) and rate their general health as fair or poor (OR= 3.76; 95%CI = 2.37-5.06). Walking was the most common activity recommended (75%). Only 18% of people were not pleased to be recommended to take more exercise and most (67%) reported following the advice. Blue collar workers (OR=0.37; 95%CI = 0.15-0.92) and older people (OR=0.96; 95%CI = 0.94-0.98) were less likely to follow the recommendations.   Conclusions: General practitioners in Queensland are recommending increased physical activity (predominantly walking) to patients with weight problems and with medical problems. Patients are usually pleased to receive the advice and act upon it.  Implications: General practitioners should be aware that physical activity recommendations are received favourably by most patients and there is further potential to improve public health by giving physical activity advice to all sedentary and/or overweight patients when appropriate.

Keywords
Physical Activity; Survey; general practice; Patients Australia; Physicians (General practice) Australia; Overweight persons Exercise therapy; Health policy Australia; Exercise Physiological aspects

Journal
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health: Volume 35, Issue 6

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2011
Publication date online04/11/2011
Date accepted by journal30/04/2011
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/4766
PublisherWiley-Blackwell / The Public Health Association of Australia Inc.
ISSN1326-0200