A1 Journal article (refereed)
Discussing lifestyle behaviors : perspectives and experiences of general practitioners (2019)

Hamilton, K., Henderson, J., Burton, E., & Hagger, M. S. (2019). Discussing lifestyle behaviors : perspectives and experiences of general practitioners. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 7(1), 290-307. https://doi.org/10.1080/21642850.2019.1648216

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Hamilton, Kyra; Henderson, Joanna; Burton, Emma; Hagger, Martin S.

Journal or series: Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine

eISSN: 2164-2850

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 7

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 290-307

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/21642850.2019.1648216

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65325


Background: Initiatives aimed at increasing participation in preventive health behaviors has been identified as a priority for addressing the increasing incidence of non-communicable chronic disease. General practice is an existing network that can be leveraged to intervene and promote messages for health behavior change. We aimed to explore the extent to which ‘lifestyle’ behaviors are discussed by general practitioners (GPs) with their patients in their practices, and the context and content of these discussions.

Methods: GPs (N = 26) practising in Australian clinics participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis.

Results: Results showed discussions of lifestyle behaviors were brief, but relatively frequent and often initiated by the GP. GPs generally provided basic advice and education that was often ad-hoc and in reaction to prompts from the patient. GPs recognized the importance of addressing lifestyle behaviors in practice, but also highlighted substantive barriers that limit the initiation of these discussions. These included patient readiness for change, patient acceptance and openness, patient accountability and responsibility, patient background factors, GPs’ role and knowledge, GP financial implications, GP-patient relationship, and lack of time.

Conclusions: Current findings provide important preliminary knowledge on the extent to which Australian GPs discuss lifestyle behavior change with patients during routine consultations, the context and content of these discussions, and barriers to initiating these discussions. Further research should seek to gain a better understanding of barriers and identify strategies to mitigate their impact. This might maximize the potential for GPs to promote adaptive lifestyle behavior change for improving patient health.

Keywords: general practitioners; lifestyle; health promotion; health communication

Free keywords: general practitioners; general practice; lifestyle behaviors; health promotion; health communication

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 13:23