UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exercise prescription in future medical practice Solmundson, Kara Patricia


Physical inactivity is a major risk factor in chronic disease and Canadians are insufficiently active. Exercise prescription has been shown to be effective but few physicians prescribe it. The purpose of this study was to determine family medicine residents’ perceived importance of exercise prescription, and to assess the factors associated with residents who indicate the strongest conviction to prescribe exercise. All 396 family medicine residents registered in first or second year at the University of British Columbia, during June 2013 - August 2013, were eligible to complete the cross-sectional 49-item survey. The outcome measures were (1) the importance of exercise prescription in future practice (2) perception of their training in exercise medicine (3) change of the importance of exercise prescription over the course of residency. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics to assess significant relationships between each independent variable, resident physical activity levels, attitudes/beliefs, current counselling/prescribing behaviours, awareness/knowledge of physical activity guidelines, self-perceived competence in exercise prescription, and perception of training received, to their perceived importance of exercise prescription in future practice. The data were analyzed as continuous or categorical variables primarily using bivariate analysis with statistical significance set at the level of 0.05. The response rate was 80.6% (319/396). 95.6% of residents indicated exercise prescription would be important in their future practice with 37.5% strongly agreeing (termed "prescribers"). Prescribers had stronger beliefs in the importance of physical activity in health (p<0.001), physical inactivity in disease (p<0.001), and higher rates of current exercise counselling (p=0.001), exercise prescription (p=0.001), and competence prescribing exercise (p=0.005) compared to their colleagues. There was no difference between prescribers and non-prescribers regarding their levels of physical activity, knowledge, or perception of training. The importance of exercise prescription did not change over the course of residency. Only 18.6% of all residents feel they receive adequate training and 91% desire more training in exercise medicine. Exercise prescription is important to residents, but residency is not sufficiently preparing them to prescribe exercise effectively.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada