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Modifying health behavior to prevent cardiovascular diseases: a nationwide survey among German primary care physicians

Modifying health behavior to prevent cardiovascular diseases: a nationwide survey among German primary care physicians

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(4): 4218-4232

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a major public health concern as they are the leading cause of death in developed countries. Primary care is considered to be the ideal setting for CVD prevention. Therefore, more than 4,000 German primary care physicians (PCPs) were asked about their attitudes towards and their activities regarding the prevention of CVD in the nationwide ÄSP-kardio Study. The focus of the study was on health behavior modification. Two thirds of the participating PCPs stated that they routinely provided brief inventions to assist patients in reducing both their tobacco (72%) and alcohol (61%) consumption, to encourage them to increase their levels of physical activity (72%), and to assist them in adjusting to a more healthy diet (66%), and in achieving a healthy body weight (69%). However, only between 23% (quitting smoking) and 49% (diet modification) of PCPs felt that they had been successful in helping patients modify their lifestyles. Insufficient reimbursement, cultural diversity and a lack of time were reported to be the most problematic barriers to successful intervention in the primary care setting. Despite these obstacles, the majority of German PCPs was engaged in prevention and health behavior intervention to reduce the incidence and progression of CVD.

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Accession: 054425051

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PMID: 24739770

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph110404218

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