Impact of a National Peer-Led Training Program to Increase Brief Physical Activity Advice Given to Patients by Health Care Professionals

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Liz Carlin
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Maxine E. Whelan
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Hayley Musson
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Emma J. Adams
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Background: The benefits of physical activity for preventing and managing long-term health conditions are well established and health care professionals could promote physical activity to patients. The current study aims to evaluate the impact of the Clinical Champions Physical Activity Training Program. Methods: Health care professionals attend a one-off in-person training session delivered by a trained Clinical Champion. Attendees at the Clinical Champions Physical Activity Training Program were asked to complete a baseline survey prior to the training session and follow-up surveys 4 and 12 weeks posttraining. Results: A total of 5945 training attendees completed the baseline survey. A total of 1859 and 754 participants completed 4- and 12-week follow-up (31.3% and 12.7% response rate, respectively). Significant increases in confidence to deliver brief physical activity advice and knowledge of physical activity guidelines were reported at 12 weeks (P < .001). The perceived frequency of physical activity discussions with patients significantly increased (P < .001). Twelve weeks after training, fewer barriers in promoting physical activity were reported. Conclusions: The evaluation of the Clinical Champions Physical Activity Training Program demonstrated an increase in knowledge of physical activity guidelines, levels of confidence, and frequency of delivery of brief physical activity advice to patients. Further research is required to determine if this impact translates into changes to patients’ physical activity behavior.

Carlin is with the School of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, United Kingdom. Whelan is with the Centre for Intelligent Healthcare, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom. Musson is with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom. Adams is with the School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Carlin (Liz.Carlin@uws.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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