Exercise is medicine Canada workshop training improves physical activity practices of physicians across Canada, independent of initial confidence level

L’exercice dans les ateliers de formation en médecine au Canada améliore les pratiques en matière d’activités physiques des médecins au Canada, indépendamment du degré de confiance initial

  • Myles William O'Brien Dalhousie University http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0665-5062
  • Chris A. Shields Acadia University
  • Kara Solmundson University of British Columbia
  • Jonathon R. Fowles Acadia University

Abstract

Background: Educational workshops help physicians (MDs) include physical activity and exercise (PAE) content in more patient appointments. It is unclear if MDs with varying degrees of self-confidence discussing PAE with their patients equally benefit from such training. We evaluated whether MDs’ initial self-confidence affects the impact of an educational PAE workshop.

Methods: MDs (n = 63) across Canada completed self-reflection questionnaires initially and 3-months following a PAE workshop. MDs were divided into low-confidence [self-efficacy score (out of 100%): <40%; n = 21], medium-confidence (40-60%; n = 19) and high-confidence (>60%; n = 23).

Results: PAE counselling self-efficacy increased in all groups (relative increase: Low=~40%, Medium=~20%, High=~10%). Training increased the low-confidence group’s knowledge, awareness of guidance/resources and perception of their patients’ interest in lifestyle management (~30% change; all p < 0.001). Compared to baseline, a greater proportion (all p < 0.001) of MDs reported prescribing exercise at 3-month follow-up in each of the low-confidence (10% to 62%) medium-confidence (16% to 89%) and high-confidence (57% to 87%) groups. 

Conclusion: PAE training favorably improved MDs’ self-confidence, perceived impact of many barriers and the proportion of MDs prescribing exercise, at each level of confidence. An educational workshop particularly assisted MDs with low-confidence (i.e., those who needed it the most) integrate PAE into their practice.

Published
2020-04-21
How to Cite
O’Brien, M. W., Shields, C., Solmundson, K., & Fowles, J. (2020). Exercise is medicine Canada workshop training improves physical activity practices of physicians across Canada, independent of initial confidence level: L’exercice dans les ateliers de formation en médecine au Canada améliore les pratiques en matière d’activités physiques des médecins au Canada, indépendamment du degré de confiance initial. Canadian Medical Education Journal, 11(5), e5-e15. https://doi.org/10.36834/cmej.68376
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Major Contributions