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Sara Wilcox, Deborah Parra-Medina, Gwen M. Felton, Mary Beth Poston and Amanda McClain

Background:

Primary care providers are expected to provide lifestyle counseling, yet many barriers exist. Few studies report on adoption and implementation in routine practice. This study reports training, adoption, and implementation of an intervention to promote physical activity (PA) and dietary counseling in community health centers.

Methods:

Providers (n = 30) and nurses (n = 28) from 9 clinics were invited to participate. Adopters completed CD-ROM training in stage-matched, patient-centered counseling and goal setting. Encounters were audio recorded. A subsample was coded for fidelity.

Results:

Fifty-seven percent of providers and nurses adopted the program. Provider counseling was seen in 66% and nurse goal setting in 58% of participant (N = 266) encounters, although audio recordings were lower. Duration of provider counseling and nurse goal setting was 4.9 ± 4.5 and 7.3 ± 3.8 minutes, respectively. Most PA (80%) and diet (94%) goals were stage-appropriate. Although most providers discussed at least 1 behavioral topic, some topics (eg, self-efficacy, social support) were rarely covered.

Conclusions:

A sizeable percentage of providers and nurses completed training, rated it favorably, and delivered lifestyle counseling, although with variable fidelity. With low implementation cost and limited office time required, this model has the potential to be disseminated to improve counseling rates in primary care.

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Stewart G. Trost, Angela M. Morgan, Ruth Saunders, Gwen Felton, Dianne S. Ward and Russell R. Pate

This study evaluated 4th-grade students’ understanding of the concept of physical activity and assessed the effects of two interventions to enhance the students’ understanding of this concept. Students were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: the video group (n = 40) watched a 5-min video describing physical activity; the verbal group (n = 42) listened to a generic description of physical activity; the control group received no instruction (n = 45). Students completed a 17-item checklist testing their understanding of the concept of physical activity. Compared to controls, students in the verbal and video group demonstrated significantly higher checklist scores, with the video group scoring significantly higher than the verbal group. Only 35.6% of the controls, compared to 52.4% and 70.0% of the verbal and video groups respectively, could classify ≥ 15 of the checklist items correctly. The results indicate that, without intervention, children have a limited understanding of the concept of physical activity.