AbstractPrimary care providers are recognized as important advocates for physical activity (PA); yet, clinical PA discussions remain infrequent. Educational approaches promoting the uptake of strategies that are proven to increase patient PA levels are effective for improving primary care providers' social cognitions and behaviour for discussing PA with patients. However, research on the effectiveness of such educational interventions among family medicine residents is limited. Utilizing the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), an interactive, educational intervention was developed to increase PA discussion between first year family medicine residents and their patients. This study aimed to determine the impact of the intervention on residents' social cognitions and behaviour for discussing PA with patients. The intervention condition was comprised of 15 2017/2018 residents who received: (1) the full intervention, and (2) completed both the pre- and post- intervention TPB questionnaires assessing changes in PA discussion social cognitions, and (3) had their medical charts reviewed for PA discussion behaviour. The non-intervention condition was comprised of 15 2016/2017 residents who were randomly selected to have their medical charts reviewed for PA discussion behaviour. While no significant differences in social cognitions or behaviour were observed pre- vs. post-intervention, intervention condition residents' perceptions of feeling adequately trained to discuss PA improved post-intervention (p = 0.005). A significant difference in post-behaviour was observed between conditions (p = 0.011), where PA was discussed at more patient visits within the intervention condition. Findings suggest that theory-based, educational interventions are sufficient to prevent declines in resident PA counselling behaviour.
Acknowledgments: The ability to conduct the medical chart reviews was facilitated by the following staff members at Queen's Department of Family Medicine: Diane Cross, Abigail Scott, and Lynn Roberts. Ms. Flood is supported by a SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship – Master's.