Introduction: Limited time and lack of knowledge are barriers to physical activity counseling in primary care. The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a clinician-targeted intervention that used the 5As (Ask, Advise, Agree, Assist, Arrange) approach to physical activity counseling in a medically underserved patient population. Methods: Family medicine clinicians at 2 community health centers were randomized to Group 1 or Group 2 intervention. Both clinician groups participated in 4 training sessions on the 5As for physical activity counseling; Group 2 training took place 8 months after Group 1 training. Both groups were trained to refer patients to a community exercise program. We used a pre-post analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on clinician use of 5As. Eligible patients (n = 319) rated their clinicians' counseling skills by using a modified Physical Activity Exit Interview (PAEI) survey. Clinicians (n = 10) self-assessed their use of the 5As through a survey and interviews. Results: Both patient and clinician groups had similar sociodemographic characteristics. The PAEI score for both groups combined increased from 6.9 to 8.6 (on a scale of 0-15) from baseline to immediately postintervention (P = .Ol) and was 8.2 (P = .09) at 6-month follow-up; most of the improvement in PAEI score was due to increased use of 5As skills by Group 2 clinicians. Group 1 reported difficulty with problem solving, whereas Group 2 reported ease of referral to the community exercise program. Conclusion: A clinician training intervention showed mixed results for 5As physical activity counseling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health