• Physical activity promotion in general practice: Irish GPs' knowledge, attitudes and self-reported practice

      Fallows, Stephen; Mortimer, Gary (University of Chester, 2015-09-30)
      Background and aims: Regular PA is one of the most important factors which influences good health and helps control and prevent several chronic diseases. Promoting PA in primary care through GPs could have a very significant health impact on the Irish public. The aim of this research project was to investigate and analyse Irish GPs’ knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported practice of promoting and recommending PA in Ireland. Methods: An electronic survey was used and sent to 711 GPs from 381 practices across Ireland in April 2015. A total of 80 GPs responded, giving a response rate of 11%. Results: The level of PA promotion claimed by Irish GPs was somewhat high (67% promoted PA often (31-50% of patients) or more often (>70% of patients)), however, only 30% (n = 24) of GPs knew the national PA recommendation for Irish adults. Irish GPs are more likely to promote PA if they perceive it as relevant to the patient’s condition (secondary prevention), rather than routinely with all patients (primary prevention). Conclusion: This study raises doubt as to the true level of PA promotion by Irish GPs, and highlights that many Irish GPs do not know and/or are unaware of the national PA recommendations. If no action is taken, there could be very serious implications for the future health of the nation.