Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Hammig, Bart

Reader

Henry, Jean

Second Reader

Ganio, Matthew S.

Abstract

Health education is an important growing focus in preventative medicine nationwide. Topics spanning from nutrition and exercise to injury and illness avoidance are being implemented as part of the educational and training process in medical schools across the United States. We sought to examine the prevalence of health education counseling provided by primary care personnel during patient visits. Additional analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with the provision of patient health education by physicians and nurses. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of patients presenting to primary care settings in the U.S. with data obtained from the 2007-2010 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey was analyzed. Descriptive analyses and logistic regression analyses were used to examine whether medical providers counsel their patients on health and lifestyle behaviors. Data analysis was done using STATA statistical software. RESULTS: Findings indicated that the typical likelihood of a provider offering lifestyle behavior counseling was consistently low. The lowest amount of education was offered for tobacco use/exposure (2.8%, 95% CI: 2.5-3.1) and the highest was for diet and nutrition (12.5%, 95% CI: 11.6-13.4). Further analysis using logistic regression methods will elucidate other covariates that impact provider education practices. These covariates will include time spent with patients, age and gender of patient, and provider type (physician, nurse practitioner, etc.). CONCLUSIONS: Health education focusing on lifestyle behaviors may play an important role in promoting positive lifestyle behavior changes among patient populations. However, our findings indicate that counseling for risk factor modification and health promotion are occurring at a very low level.

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