Promoting physical activity in general practice: Maltese GPs’ beliefs, attitudes and practices
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe aim of this research project was to investigate promotion of physical activity (PA) in general practice in Malta, by analysing Maltese general practitioners’ (GPs’) beliefs, attitudes and self-reported practices. All Maltese GPs were invited to participate in this postal survey, whereby data was collected using a validated questionnaire about PA in general practice. The main outcome measures included knowledge, role perception, confidence, barriers and frequency of PA promotion, feasibility of different PA promotion strategies and GPs’ PA levels. The response rate was 53% (156 replies out of 296). Although role perception was high, PA promotion was generally low (52% promoted PA to < 30% of patients), with GPs more likely to promote PA if they perceived it as relevant to the patient’s condition. Only 19% of GPs knew the national PA recommendations, with those who did being somewhat more likely to promote PA to > 30 patients/month than those who did not (59% vs. 41%, p = 0.082). GPs were more confident in giving general PA advice than suggesting specific PA programmes, and a relationship was found between confidence and frequency of promoting PA (p = 0.005, r = 0.226). There was also a relationship between GPs’ PA levels and frequency of promoting PA (p = 0.038, r = 0.168). The most common barrier was lack of time, while brief counselling during consultations was considered most feasible. Initiatives are required to increase knowledge about PA recommendations and PA promotion among Maltese GPs. Due to numerous advantages and GPs’ hypothetical support, a framework in which GPs recommend increased PA and offer referrals to a PA counsellor could be ideal. However, research is required about how to implement such a framework. PA promotion by GPs could have a significant public health impact, particularly since physical inactivity and obesity levels are very high in Malta.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
SponsorsThe research work disclosed in this publication is partially funded by the Strategic Educational Pathways Scholarship (Malta). This scholarship is part-financed by the European Union – European Social Fund (ESF) under Operational Programme II – Cohesion Policy 2007-2013, “Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life”.
The following license files are associated with this item: