Navigation Links
Doctors' Health, Well-Being Affect Patient Counseling

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors who take care of themselves may be more likely to recommend healthy lifestyle habits to their patients than doctors who gobble down fast food a couple of times a week and rarely hit the gym, according to new research.

Additionally, the study found that more experienced doctors and those who felt they'd been well-trained to counsel their patients on lifestyle changes felt more comfortable doing so.

"Physicians who exercised more were more likely to counsel their patients on the importance of exercise," said the study's senior author, Dr. Elizabeth Jackson, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

Ironically, the researchers also found that physicians who were overweight were more likely to counsel their patients on the importance of lifestyle changes, probably because they were working on making such changes themselves, the authors theorized.

Results of the study were published online Oct. 1 in the journal Preventive Cardiology.

The study included survey responses from 183 doctors; 102 of the doctors were trainees (residents and fellows) and 81 were attending physicians, meaning they had completed their medical training.

About 21 percent of the trainees were overweight and nearly 6 percent were obese, while 27 percent of the attendings were overweight and over 8 percent were obese. Most of the physicians -- both trainees and attending -- reported having had their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked during the past year.

Both groups of doctors reported low intake of fruits and vegetables, fast food consumption at least once a week and not getting enough exercise. Attending physicians were far more likely to report exercising four or more days a week.

Seventy percent of attending physicians reported counseling their patients on healthy lifestyle behaviors, while just 37 percent of trainees did so, according to the study.

Physicians also reported that they didn't have a great deal of confidence in their ability to affect change in their patients' lives. Just 11 percent of doctors-in-training, and 17 percent of attending physicians felt they could help their patients change diet-related behaviors.

Part of the problem, said Jackson, may be that doctors "tend to see people who are sick. We don't really see the patients who are going out there and exercising."

Factors that made it more likely that a physician would counsel a patient about the importance of exercise included the physician exercising more than 150 minutes a week or having been trained well in counseling. The researchers also found that overweight doctors were more likely to advise their patients to exercise.

"Every time we see a patient is an opportunity to counsel them for risk factors that kill us, like heart disease and lung cancer. We can educate and empower patients," explained Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, an assistant professor and the medical director of the Cardiac and Pulmonary Wellness and Rehabilitation Program at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.

"But, this article reinforces the idea that we need to do a much better job counseling our patients," he added.

Both Whiteson and Jackson said that better training of doctors might make them feel more effective when it comes to counseling their patients. Whiteson said that role-playing exercises in medical school can be very helpful.

The bottom line, said Jackson, is that "behavior is hard to change. We can't just give you a pill and make you change. But, talking with your patients can help. You may have just seen someone who found a way to make lifestyle changes work, and you can share that with your other patients."

More information

The American Heart Association has lots of advice on healthy living.

SOURCES: Elizabeth Jackson, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Jonathan Whiteson, M.D., assistant professor, department of rehabilitation medicine, and medical director, Cardiac and Pulmonary Wellness and Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; Oct. 1, 2010, Preventive Cardiology, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Wiser Pregnancy Reveals What Doctors Did In Situations Like Yours
2. Helmets must be part of skiing and snowboarding culture, doctors urge
3. Doctors Have Many Ways to Say No
4. Doctors Working Less, Earning Less
5. Doctors Share Longevity Secrets on CBS Broadcasts
6. Shortage of Black Doctors Rooted in Social, Economic Ills
7. Doctors Practice Medicine in Fear, New Study Finds
8. Doctors Applaud House Vote to Remove Anti-Trust Exemption for Health Insurers
9. Napa State Hospital Doctors Question DMH Judgment
10. Doctors Applaud Latest Furlough Reversal
11. Star of TVs The Doctors Helping Put Smiles on Faces of Needy Children in India
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, ... Table 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – ... according to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions ... SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of ... SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... you start failing. Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the ... best income protection solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD ... Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography ... CAAHEP accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Rosa, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Northern California Medical Associates, Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at ... meeting. They observed that both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... PHILADELPHIA , Nov. 27, 2015  Lannett ... that it has completed the acquisition of Kremers ... pharmaceuticals subsidiary of global biopharmaceuticals company UCB S.A. ... --> Lannett has acquired KU from UCB ... to certain adjustments, including a customary working capital ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Un nuevo enfoque combina la ... cáncer avanzado.   --> Un nuevo ... Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... --> Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> --> Juntendo University Hospital ... weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) ... with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in clinical research ... generate multiple contrast images from a single scan and adjust ... it possible to both fine tune images and recreate additional ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: