Screening While You Wait: Physical Activity

Despite knowing that exercise improves health, primary care providers do not regularly assess the amount their patients are getting or use proven techniques to help boost it. Studies have shown that care providers don't talk to patients about their physical activity because they either feel they don’t have adequate knowledge or resources or they may not feel they have enough time to offer personal advice.

Giving patients a tablet, this study assessed the benefits of emailing patients directly to see whether it would help them contemplate physical activity levels and start conversations with their doctor. Electronic surveys sent via email prior to periodic health reviews would gather responses that could then be used later on to develop a printable ‘toolkit’ with individualized recommendations for physical activity, a personalized exercise prescription, as well as patient-specific educational and community resources.

The main goal of this study is to determine how the use of technology in family doctors' offices can help patients engage with their care providers about physical activity and ultimately increase the amount that they get on a regular basis.

Can digital screening help increase a patient’s physical activity?

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