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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1446-1451

Exercise prescriptions given by GPs to sedentary patients attending chronic disease clinics in health centres – The effect of a very brief intervention to change exercise behavior

1 Sports Medicine and Injury Rehabilitation Clinic, Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Trinidad and Tobago
2 Department of Clinical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
3 Deceased (Formerly of SWRHA, South Trinidad), Trinidad and Tobago

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Terence Babwah
Sports Medicine and Injury Rehabilitation Clinic, Centre of Excellence, Macoya
Trinidad and Tobago
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_84_18

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Aim: To determine the effect of a very brief structured exercise prescription given by general practitioners (GPs) to sedentary patients attending chronic disease clinics in a primary care setting lead them to begin exercising. Materials and Methods: One hundred and six patients of the intervention (INV) group were counselled for 1–2 minutes individually about a benefit of regular exercise after which a written exercise prescription was provided by the GP. The 110 patients in the control (CON) group received usual care given to patients attending health centres. The patients in both groups were called at both one month (T1), and three months (T3) post intervention, respectively where they were interviewed about their current exercise habits. Results: At T1, 84/106 (79.2%) of INV vs. 34 (30.9%) of CON were exercising and at T3, 79/106 (74.5%) of INV vs 19/110 (17.4%) of CON were exercising at least one time weekly (P < 0.0005). Greater than 90% of patients who began exercising “agreed/strongly agreed” that the doctors' advice was “important to start exercising.” Conclusion: The brief intervention seemed to be more effective than regular care in getting patients to begin exercising at 1 month and 3 months post intervention than regular care. The intervention was well received by most of the patients receiving the intervention.

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