Assessing physical activity behaviors among patients in a federally qualified health center (FQHC) : implications for physician-based physical activity counseling.


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Physical activity (PA) is beneficial for overall health. However, the high prevalence of physical inactivity is concerning. Race/ethnic minority groups, such as Blacks and Hispanics, report significantly lower levels of PA. Behavior change theories, such as the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), can help understand PA behavior adoption and maintenance. Assessing the relationship between SCT constructs and PA among diverse patient populations can help improve physician-based PA counseling, a primary care initiative to increase PA levels. This study assessed SCT constructs and the self-reported PA of a sample of federally-qualified health center patients. Self-efficacy and self-regulation of PA behavior were the most significant SCT constructs associated with PA behavior among patients. Physician-based PA counseling should incorporate strategies to increase self-efficacy and self-regulation. Moreover, the racial/ethnic differences of the associations between SCT constructs and PA suggest physician-based PA counseling programs should be tailored to the behavioral needs of diverse patient populations.



Physical activity. Behavior. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). Federally qualified health center patients. Physical activity counseling.