Primary Care Residents' Knowledge, Attitudes, Self-Efficacy, and Perceived Professional Norms Regarding Obesity, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Counseling

Samantha Smith, Eileen L. Seeholzer, Heidi Gullett, Brigid Jackson, Elizabeth Antognoli, Susan A. Krejci, Sue Flocke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Obesity and being overweight are both significant risk factors for multiple chronic conditions. Primary care physicians are in a position to provide health behavior counseling to the majority of US adults, yet most report insufficient training to deliver effective counseling for obesity.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the degree to which residents training in adult primary care programs are prepared to provide obesity, nutrition, and physical activity (ONPA) counseling.

METHODS: Senior residents (postgraduate year [PGY]-3 and PGY-4) from 25 Ohio family medicine, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology programs were surveyed regarding their knowledge about obesity risks and effective counseling, as well as their attitudes, self-efficacy, and perceived professional norms toward ONPA counseling. We examined summary scores, and used regression analyses to assess associations with resident demographics and training program characteristics.

RESULTS: A total of 219 residents participated (62% response rate). Mean ONPA counseling knowledge score was 50.8 (± 15.6) on a 0 to 100 scale. Specialty was associated with counseling self-efficacy (P < .001) and perceived norms (P = .002). Residents who reported having engaged in an elective rotation emphasizing ONPA counseling had significantly higher self-efficacy and more positive attitudes and professional norms scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that primary care residents' knowledge of ONPA assessment and management strategies has room for improvement. Attitudes, self-efficacy, and perceived norms also are low and vary by training program characteristics. A deeper understanding of curricula associated with improved performance in these domains could inform interventions to enhance residents' ONPA counseling skills and prevent chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-394
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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