Exercise as medicine: Providing practitioner guidance on exercise prescription
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a practitioner education program (consisting of education on exercise guidelines and exercise prescription) on practitioner (i) confidence in prescribing exercise and (ii) rate of prescribing exercise. A pre-post study design was utilized. A two-session practitioner education and a toolbox of resources was developed and implemented in January 2020, targeting 12 eligible practitioners at a large primary care and functional medicine office in New York City. A three-question confidence survey was given pre and post. Fifty randomly selected charts were reviewed at baseline (pre), and 25 charts were reviewed monthly for 3 months (February – April 2020) post. There were significant increases and a large effect size in both confidence in prescribing exercise (30% to 89% [p = .020, Phi = 0.596]) and individualizing an exercise prescription between pre- and post-education sessions (20% to 78% [p = .023, Phi = 0.578]). There was also a sustained and significant increase (24% to 63% [p < .001, Phi = 0.379]) in exercise prescription over the three-month period following the education sessions. No statistically significant data was obtained regarding increasing the rate of physical activity among patients. The evidence from this study demonstrates the effectiveness of increasing practitioner confidence and uptake of exercise prescription through education sessions that provide them with the knowledge and tools to properly assess patients’ activity level and offer individualized exercise recommendations.
Kyei-Frimpong, J; Blood-Siegfried, J; Wijetilaka, R; Gendler, A
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