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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 5, pp 390–395 | Cite as

Predictors of Canadian Physicians’ Prevention Counseling Practices

  • Erica FrankEmail author
  • Carolina Segura
  • Hui Shen
  • Erica Oberg
Quantitative Research

Abstract

Objective

To understand predictors of Canadian physicians’ prevention counseling practices.

Methods

A national mailed survey of a random sample of Canadian physicians conducted November 2007-May 2008.

Results

Primary care physicians (n=3,213) responded to the survey (41% response rate); those with better personal health habits, female physicians, and physicians aged 45–64 years old were more likely to report “usually/always” counseling patients than did others, but there were no significant differences by province, origin of one’s MD degree, or practice location. There was a clear and consistent relationship between personal and clinical prevention practices: non-smokers were significantly more likely to report counseling patients on smoking cessation; those who drank alcohol less frequently, drank lower quantities or binged less often were more likely to counsel on alcohol; those exercising more to counsel patients more about exercise; those eating more fruits and vegetables to counsel patients more often about nutrition; and those with lower weight were more likely to counsel about nutrition, weight or exercise. Physicians who strongly agreed or agreed that “they will perform better counseling if they have healthy habits” averaged higher rates of counseling (p<0.001).

Conclusions

Personal characteristics of Canadian physicians help predict prevention counseling. These data suggest that by encouraging physicians to be healthy, we can improve healthy habits among their patients–an innovative, beneficent, evidence-based approach to encouraging physicians to counsel patients about prevention.

Key words

Physician health health education counseling patient counseling Canada prevention 

Résumé

Objectifs

Connaître les prédicteurs du counseling en prévention offert par les médecins canadiens.

Méthode

Sondage postal national mené entre novembre 2007 et mai 2008 auprès d’un échantillon aléatoire de médecins canadiens de premier recours.

Résultats

Quarante-et-un p. cent des médecins contactés (n=3213) ont répondu au questionnaire. Les répondants ayant de meilleures habitudes de santé, les femmes et les répondants de 45 à 64 ans avaient plus tendance à conseiller leurs patients « habituellement/toujours », mais il n’y avait pas de différences significatives selon la province, l’origine du diplôme de médecine ou le lieu d’exercice. Le lien entre les habitudes personnelles et les pratiques de prévention clinique était clair et systématique: les non-fumeurs avaient significativement plus tendance à conseiller l’arrêt du tabac à leurs patients; les répondants dont la consommation d’alcool était plus faible, moins fréquente ou moins sujette aux excès occasionnels étaient plus susceptibles d’offrir des conseils sur l’alcool; ceux qui faisaient davantage d’exercice physique avaient plus tendance à donner des conseils sur l’exercice physique; ceux qui mangeaient davantage de fruits et légumes avaient plus tendance à donner des conseils de nutrition; et ceux qui n’étaient pas en surpoids avaient plus tendance à donner des conseils sur la nutrition, le poids ou l’exercice physique. Les médecins qui étaient d’accord ou tout à fait d’accord avec l’énoncé « leurs conseils seront meilleurs s’ils ont eux-mêmes de saines habitudes » affichaient en moyenne de taux de counseling supérieurs (p<0,001).

Conclusion

Les caractéristiques personnelles des médecins canadiens sont des prédicteurs du counseling en prévention. En incitant les médecins à être en bonne santé, il serait possible d’améliorer les habitudes de santé de leurs patients. C’est une approche novatrice, bénéfique et éprouvée pour encourager les médecins à donner des conseils de prévention aux patients.

Mots clés

médecins; santé éducation sanitaire conseil counseling du patient Canada prévention 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica Frank
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carolina Segura
    • 1
  • Hui Shen
    • 1
  • Erica Oberg
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Family Practice in the Faculty of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.School of Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleCanada

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