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Recommending Physical Activity to Adults with Disabilities

Knowledge and Practices of Health Professionals

1456 Board #249 May 28, 9

00 AM - 10

30 AM

Carroll, Dianna D.; Stevens, Alissa C.; Sloan, Michelle L.; Fulton, Janet E. FACSM; Brown, David R. FACSM

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2015 - Volume 47 - Issue 5S - p 392–393
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000477499.28113.fa
C-39 Free Communication/Poster - Physical Activity Promotion Programming in Adults Thursday, May 28, 2015, 7: 30 AM - 12: 30 PM Room: Exhibit Hall F

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. (Sponsor: David R. Brown, FACSM)


(No relationships reported)

The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend all adults, including those with disabilities, get ≥150 mins/wk of moderate-intensity-equivalent aerobic physical activity (PA) for health benefits. Adults with disabilities are less physically active and more likely to see a health professional than those without disabilities. Yet, in 2010 only 44% of working-age adults with disabilities who saw a health professional received a PA recommendation. To increase this percentage, it is important to understand the health professional’s knowledge of PA guidelines, behaviors and barriers in recommending PA to adults with disabilities.

PURPOSE: Among primary care health professionals we assess 1) knowledge of the aerobic PA guideline and that it applies to adults with disabilities; 2) frequency of recommending PA; and 3) barriers to discussing PA with adults with disabilities.

METHODS: We used self-reported data from the 2014 DocStyles survey (n=1,258 [542 family/general practitioners; 466 internists; 250 nurse practitioners]) to estimate prevalence of health professionals who correctly identified the moderate-intensity aerobic PA guideline (150 minutes spread over a week) and its application to adults with disabilities (limitation in mobility, vision, hearing, or cognition, or emotional or mental health disorder). We estimated frequency of PA recommendation and barriers to discussing PA with adults with disabilities.

RESULTS: The aerobic guideline was correctly identified by 18.0%; 53.1% knew that it applies to adults with disabilities; 9.9% correctly answered both questions. Half (50.7%) of the study sample reported recommending PA to adults with disabilities at every, or at most, clinic visits. Top barriers to discussing PA were lack of patient interest (25.9%), lack of time (16.0%), patient has other immediate health issues (13.7%), and lack of knowledge about PA options for people with disabilities (13.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: About half of health professionals recommend PA to their patients with disabilities at every or most clinic visits, yet only 1 in 10 both correctly identify the aerobic PA guideline and know it applies to adults with disabilities. There is a need to better inform health professionals about the Physical Activity Guidelines and provide resources to facilitate PA discussions with adults with disabilities.

© 2015 American College of Sports Medicine