Promotion of physical activity in physical therapy practice within North Carolina

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Randall Scott Lazicki (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Pamela Brown

Abstract: Physical inactivity has been established as one of the most important issues affecting health-related quality of life. In contrast, participation in regular physical activity has been shown to be one of the most effective interventions to treat and prevent a wide variety of chronic diseases. Although well positioned, physical therapists have been found to ineffectively and inconsistently promote physical activity within patient care. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of physical activity promotion as well as identify perceived barriers and facilitators affecting physical activity promotion in physical therapy practice within North Carolina. Licensed physical therapists who practice within North Carolina were recruited to complete an online survey assessing areas related to physical activity including knowledge, promotion, role perception, confidence, barriers, feasibility, caseload perception, and personal physical activity participation (n = 1,067). Open-ended questions were also included to further explore physical therapists’ perceived barriers and facilitators affecting physical activity promotion. Data analysis included 13.8% (n = 1067) of physical therapists currently practicing in North Carolina. Results demonstrate that nearly all participants promote some form of physical activity; however, only about one-fourth promote physical activity at the highest extent with their current patients as part of the management plan. Additionally, results suggest the highest promoters were significantly different in every variable with relatively small differences in personal physical activity (d = .48), role perception (d = .32), and knowledge (d = .18) and moderate differences in feasibility (d = .70), confidence (d = .55), caseload perception (d = .54), and perceived barriers (d = .50). Open-ended responses suggest accessibility of resources, patient education, and available time were the highest contributors to facilitating physical activity promotion among the highest promoters. Targeted policy and education addressing extrinsic and intrinsic factors by providing accessible resources, education on patient counseling, and actions to implement physical activity promotion should be initiated.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Physical Activity, Physical Therapy, Promotion
Physical therapists $z North Carolina $x Attitudes
Physical therapy $z North Carolina
Physical activity $z North Carolina

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