Physical activity supports provided by health care providers to patients with type 2 diabetes

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Hnatiuk, Jill Amber
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Background: Physical activity (PA) is an important component of type 2 diabetes management, yet the amount and type of PA support provided by different types of health care providers (HCPs) is largely unknown. Purpose: This study identified differences in the amount and type of PA supports provided by HCPs, and determined whether HCPs use the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) PA guidelines or Canada’s Physical Activity Guide (CPAG) in practice. Methods: Eight of 14 Winnipeg Regional Health Authority primary care clinics specializing in diabetes education agreed to participate in the study. In-person interviews were conducted with health care providers (n=48) and patients with type 2 diabetes (n=26). HCPs were given a total PA support score based on scores in three subcategories behaviour change support (BC), assessment/prescription support (AP) and information/referral/community resources support (IRCR), as reported by HCPs themselves and patients. Results: There was no difference in PA support between the 3 HCP types, but there was a significant difference between HCP report and patient report of PA support. Just over one half of HCPs report using the CDA guidelines unprompted or prompted. Conclusions: HCPs recognize the importance of PA in type 2 diabetes management, but implementing strategies to increase certain types of PA support and facilitate understanding between HCPs and patients would allow for optimal PA counseling in primary care.
physical activity, type 2 diabetes, health care provider, health care system, exercise, adults, chronic disease, patient