Systematic counselling by general practitioners for promoting physical activity in elderly patients: a feasibility study

Marki, A; Bauer, GB; Angst, F; Nigg, CR; Gillmann, G; Gehring, TM (2006). Systematic counselling by general practitioners for promoting physical activity in elderly patients: a feasibility study. Swiss medical weekly, 136(29-30), 482-8.. Muttenz: EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag

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RESEARCH QUESTIONS: To investigate how the daily physical activities of elderly patients can be enhanced by systematic counselling conducted by general practitioners (GPs). METHODS: In this feasibility study with pre-post design, 29 people (14 females, mean age 72.2 years, SD = 6.1) were enrolled during routine visits by two general practitioners. A baseline assessment of current physical activity based on the stages according to the Transtheoretical Model was followed by a counselling session. The target behaviour was defined by performance of 30 minutes of daily moderate-intensity activities that increase the breathing rate, on five days per week. At the 2-month follow-up, subjects were assessed for improvement in stage of physical activity since baseline. After the end of the intervention, participating GPs and patients were asked questions focusing on the feasibility, acceptance and usefulness of counselling. RESULTS: Interview results showed that the two GPs considered the counselling protocol easy to handle and useful for promoting physical activity. Counselling sessions were especially encouraging for the not sufficiently active people. Most of them would like to have additional counselling session. At baseline, 9 of 29 people were sufficiently active. After 2 months, this proportion was 21 of 29. The mean of the number of minutes of physical activity during the previous 4 weeks increased from 247 to 436 minutes (weekly). CONCLUSIONS: The programme was judged positively by the general practitioners and the participating elderly patients. Systematic counselling by general practitioners led to an increase in the physical activity behaviour. Therefore, a more rigorous randomised controlled trial with adequate followup is recommended.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Gillmann, Gerhard






EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:15

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URI: (FactScience: 3312)

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