Physical activity promotion attitudes and practices among outpatient physical therapists: results of a national survey

Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood info

Key Points

  1. According to survey data, outpatient physical therapists do not regularly promote physical activity.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

According to the 2016 Center for Disease Control report, 27.5% of adults above the age of 50 and 35.3% of adults above 75 reported no leisure-time physical activity (PA) in the last month (1). Such a high percentage of insufficient activity levels can lead to an increased risk of poor quality of life, morbidity, and mortality (2). A healthcare provider identified as a key player in addressing this need is a physical therapist (3).

Unfortunately, most of the research indicates that even though physical therapists understand their PA prescription role and verbalize confidence in promoting and prescribing PA, they do not perform it regularly (4-8). This study aimed to identify current PA promotion practices and establish factors that impact PA promotion among a sample of outpatient US physical therapists.

27.5% of adults above the age of 50 and 35.3% of adults above 75 reported no leisure-time physical activity in the last month.
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It is recommended that all physical therapists have a method of screening their patient’s physical activity levels.

METHODS

Participants: Outpatient US physical therapists who were members of either the Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy or American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Geriatrics.

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