A new study finds that physicians' own health may play a key role when it comes to counseling patients on lifestyle issues such as diet and exercise.
Physician’s confidence in their ability to counsel patients on a healthy diet and exercise may be related to their own personal habits, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor, MI.
The study, which was published in Preventative Cardiology, identified the three factors that predict confidence in counseling: the doctor’s own exercise time, being overweight, and if the doctor had undergone adequate training in counseling patients. Physicians’ own health, it seems, play a key role when it comes to patient counseling.
“Living a healthy lifestyle themselves translates into a more believable message to their patients,” said lead author Michael Howe, MD, chief medical resident at University of Michigan Health System, in a press release. “Physicians are busy, especially during their training; but eating healthy foods and exercising regularly may result in better personal health as well as improved patient care.”
Howe and colleagues surveyed physicians regarding their personal lifestyle behavior, perceived confidence, and frequency of counseling patients regarding lifestyle behaviors. Findings from the 183 responses they received were as follows:
With the prevalence of obesity among adults in the U.S. increasing, “many physicians lack confidence in their ability to counsel patients regarding lifestyle,” says senior author Elizabeth Jackson, MD. “An emphasis on healthy diet and exercise counseling is an important part of medical education for physicians of all levels.”
For more information: