Reducing clinician barriers to EIM through education
Previous research has shown that 18% of Australian patients are given a physical activity recommendation from their General Practitioner (GP). In determining why this figure is low, it is important to examine the contribution of barriers that exist for GPs in discussing and providing physical activity recommendations to their patients. Previously, research in this area has highlighted many barriers, some of which include:
- GP time constraints
- Increased workload generated by guidelines
- GP knowledge, skills, attitudes, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy and behaviours towards physical activity
EIM research has found that workshop factors which may contribute to reducing clinician barriers include:
- Increasing clinician knowledge about the physical activity guidelines and how physical activity affects various chronic conditions through the provision of education.
- Providing awareness and access to EIM resources which clinicians can use that show them how to engage with their patients about physical activity and how to promote physical activity. This may help to reduce clinician uncertainty and improve use of time
- Improved awareness and knowledge of referral options and pathways, in particular to accredited exercise physiologists or accredited exercise scientists as appropriate.
EIM education is a vital strategy in empowering GPs and other healthcare professionals to overcome barriers to using exercise as medicine with their patients.
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Orrow, G., et al. (2012). Effectiveness of physical activity promotion based in primary care: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 344: e1389.9
Sallis, R. E. (2009). Exercise is medicine and physicians need to prescribe it! British Journal of Sports Medicine. 43(1)
Short, C. et.al., (2015). Physical activity recommendations from general practitioners in Australia. Results from a national survey. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 40(1) 83–90.