Table 2

GP knowledge, confidence, role perceptions and practice with regard to physical activity promotion in 1997, 2000 and 2007

OutcomeRegression analyses
YearAgree (n (%))OR (95% CI)*p Value
Knowledge of physical activity message
Taking the stairs at work and generally being more active each day is enough physical activity to improve health2007†335 (52)
2000§418 (57)1.24 (0.99 to 1.54)0.06
1997¶150 (30)0.41 (0.32 to 0.53)<0.001
Half an hour of walking on most days is all the exercise that is needed for good health2007435 (68)
2000604 (82)2.24 (1.73 to 2.90)<0.001
1997322 (64)0.87 (0.68 to 1.12)0.29
Vigorous exercise for at least 20 min each time, 3 times a week is needed for good health2007326 (51)
2000274 (37)0.54 (0.43 to 0.68)<0.001
1997250 (50)0.91 (0.71 to 1.16)0.44
Exercise that is good for health must make you puff and pant2007164 (25)
200077 (10)0.36 (0.27 to 0.49)<0.001
199790 (18)0.69 (0.51 to 0.92)0.013
Several short walks of 10 min each on most days is better than 1 round of golf per week for good health2007509 (79)
2000586 (79)1.02 (0.78 to 1.34)0.87
1997325 (65)0.52 (0.39 to 0.68)<0.001
Confidence in giving physical activity message
I feel confident in giving general advice to patients on physical activity2007591 (92)
2000680 (92)1.14 (0.77 to 1.70)0.51
1997141 (82)0.46 (0.32 to 0.67)<0.001
I feel confident in suggesting specific physical activity programs for my patients2007445 (69)
2000586 (79)1.09 (0.86 to 1.39)0.49
1997309 (61)0.74 (0.57 to 0.95)0.02
Role of GPs
Discussing the benefits of physical activity with patients is part of the GPs role2007633 (98)
2000732 (99)2.12 (0.77 to 5.79)0.14
1997466 (92)0.23 (0.11 to 0.46)<0.001
Suggesting to patients ways to increase daily physical activity is part of the GPs role2007631 (98)
2000727 (98)1.13 (0.51 to 2.46)0.77
1997459 (91)0.22 (0.12 to 0.42)<0.001
GPs should be physically active to act as a role model for their patients2007594 (92)
2000658 (89)0.71 (0.49 to 1.05)0.09
1997384 (76)0.28 (0.19 to 0.41)<0.001
Attended CPD on physical activity and health2007279 (43)
2000506 (68)3.20 (2.54 to 4.04)<0.001
1997275 (54)1.76 (1.37 to 2.25)<0.001
Discussing physical activity with patients
Physical activity discussed with ⩾10 patients per week2007337 (53)
2000319 (44)0.58 (0.46 to 0.74)<0.001
1997216 (43)0.54 (0.42 to 0.69)<0.001
Mean % (SD)‡β (95% CI)*p Value
New patients asked about physical activity200757 (31)
200052 (31)−4.12 (−7.58 to −0.65)0.02
199754 (31)−2.64 (−6.41 to 1.14)0.17
Old patients asked about physical activity200746 (28)
200040 (27)−5.84 (−8.92 to −2.76)<0.001
199743 (28)−0.96 (−4.31 to 2.39)0.57
  • β, linear regression coefficient; CPD, continuing professional development.

  • *Adjusted for years in practice and number of patients seen per week.

  • †n = 646 in 2007 (reference year).

  • ‡Numbers present the mean percentage (SD) of patients that GPs asked about physical activity.

  • §n = 747 in 2000.

  • ¶n = 512 in 1997.