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Health Promot Pract. 2015 Sep;16(5):745-55. doi: 10.1177/1524839914561516. Epub 2014 Dec 1.

Attitudes About and Practices of Health Promotion and Prevention Among Primary Care Providers.

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Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, PA, USA
Aetna, Hartford, CT, USA.


The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's emphasis on health promotion and prevention activities required an examination of the current practices of primary care providers in these areas. A total of 196 primary care providers completed a survey to assess current health promotion and prevention attitudes, practices, and barriers. Results of this study showed that family physicians in Pennsylvania recognize the importance of and their role in providing health promotion and prevention and offer advice in key behavioral and disease prevention areas. Results from the study suggest that their ability to provide these services is hindered by a lack of time and the heavy workload. Although most family physicians provided advice to patients in several health promotion and prevention areas, few participants reported that they referred patients to other health professionals. Finally, when it comes to preventive services, participants ranked blood pressure screening, tobacco use screening, and tobacco use cessation interventions as the most important services. Effective implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require necessary resources and support of primary care providers to help patients achieve healthier lives.


disease prevention; health education; health promotion; medical care; primary care

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