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Docs' Preparedness Influences Exercise Recommendations

Link between preparedness, chance of recommending physical activity for patients with disabilities

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FRIDAY, Nov. 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care providers who feel prepared are more likely to recommend physical activity to patients with disabilities, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Elizabeth A. Courtney-Long, M.S.P.H., from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues DocStyles data from 2014 to examine primary care provider characteristics as well as perceived barriers to and knowledge-related factors of recommending physical activity to adult patients with disabilities.

The researchers found that most primary care providers strongly or somewhat (36.3 and 43.3 percent) agreed with feeling prepared to recommend physical activity for patients with disabilities. There were significant trends between preparedness and primary care providers' age and number of patients with disabilities seen per week. Physical activity was recommended to patients with disabilities at most visits by 50.6 percent of primary care providers. Compared to those who were neutral or disagreed, primary care providers who strongly or somewhat agreed that they felt prepared were more likely to recommend physical activity at most visits (adjusted prevalence ratio, 1.74 and 1.36, respectively).

"Primary care providers are more likely to recommend physical activity to patients with disabilities regularly if they feel prepared," the authors write. "Understanding factors and barriers associated with preparedness can help public health programs develop and disseminate resources for primary care providers to promote physical activity among adults with disabilities."

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