Practices of Nigerian physiotherapists with respect to lifestyle risk factor assessment and intervention: a national cross-sectional survey

Ukachukwu Okoroafor Abaraogu*, Mary Oguma Ogaga, Elizabeth Dean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Resolutions of the World Health Organization and World Confederation for Physical Therapy declare health promotion a priority for health professionals including physiotherapists.
Objective: To describe lifestyle-related risk factor assessment and intervention practices of Nigerian physiotherapists, their perceived barriers to such practices, and education needs.
Methods: Physiotherapists (n = 650) were invited to complete a questionnaire with 23 questions about respondent demographics, lifestyle risk factor assessment, and management practices; barriers to such practices; and related education needs. Statistical analysis was descriptive.
Results: Response rate was 69% (n = 451). Less than half of respondents indicated that they “always” advised smokers to quit or heavy drinkers to reduce alcohol consumption. Most respondents viewed diet and anthropometrics as risk factors that warrant being addressed, but few respondents did so. Physical inactivity and blood pressure were the commonest risk factors reportedly assessed. Perceived barriers to health promotion practices included time, knowledge, and access to other providers. Continuing education needs identified by respondents included methods for delivering advice regarding smoking cessation, diet, and alcohol consumption.
Conclusions: Nigerian physiotherapists inconsistently assess lifestyle-related risks and intervene to address them. Continuing education is needed to address barriers to health promotion practices by meeting the perceived needs of Nigerian physiotherapists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-507
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice
Volume33
Issue number6
Early online date8 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • alcohol consumption
  • assessment and management of lifestyle risk factors
  • nutrition
  • physical activity
  • physiotherapists
  • prevention of non-communicable diseases
  • smoking

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