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Am J Prev Med. 1990 May-Jun;6(3):153-60.

Selected predictors of health promotion counseling by three groups of allied health professionals.

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School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston 77225.


Three groups of allied health professionals, including dental hygienists, dietitians, and certified nurse-midwives, were surveyed to determine current practice, beliefs, and attitudes regarding health promotion and disease prevention. The study aimed to explore the power of selected variables drawn from social learning theory in predicting self-reported level of counseling. We conducted separate analyses for 10 areas of health promotion and disease prevention: high blood pressure, smoking, lack of exercise, overweight, high-fat diet, alcohol abuse, illicit drug use, stress, isolation and loneliness, and nonuse of safety belts. The predictor variables were respondents' professional group membership, confidence that they possess appropriate skills and knowledge to counsel patients (self-efficacy), belief that patients will follow through on recommendations (adherence expectation), and belief that reduction of risk will improve patients' health status (expectation of health impact). The level of counseling activity varied markedly across the risk areas, with blood pressure and weight receiving the most emphasis on average and isolation and loneliness and nonuse of safety belts receiving markedly less attention. There also was variation across the professional groups. Certified nurse-midwives had higher mean counseling scores in all topics except those related to diet, where the dietitians' mean scores were approximately the same. Of all the areas about which counseling might be increased, use of safety belts stands out as having the lowest reported prevalence, the least complexity in terms of implementation, and the most relevance to at least two of the professional groups. These findings suggest the importance of skills training, including the provision of actual or simulated counseling experience and modeling by others in the same professional group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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