Affiliations: School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, UK. Tel.: +44 01522 835450; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: BACKGROUND:Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of global mortality and is a significant independent risk factor for a range of chronic conditions. Advice from a healthcare professional can increase activity levels in adults. Current literature does not identify whether UK physiotherapy undergraduate students are prepared to promote physical activity (PA) for health. PURPOSE:The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, confidence and role perception of final-year UK Physiotherapy undergraduate students to promote physical activity for health. METHODS:An online cross-sectional survey was used. 19 UK undergraduate Physiotherapy courses participated. Descriptive statistics explored knowledge, confidence and role-perception. Inferential statistics tested the relationships between variables. RESULTS:Response rate was 16.6% (n = 158). The majority of respondents (82% n = 129) had received training in promoting PA for health. 66% (n = 73) of this group correctly specified a duration, frequency and intensity for current UK PA recommendations for 19–64 year olds. Role perception was extremely high (99%) in the surveyed population. Students reported being confident in giving general PA advice (92%, n = 144). Confidence scores were significantly correlated with training in the promotion of PA for health (β= 0.38 p < 0.001). CONCLUSION:Final-year UK Physiotherapy students perceive a professional role in promoting physical activity for health; and demonstrate good but variable knowledge of this subject. Confidence domain scores were best predicted by training in the promotion of PA for health.
Keywords: Physiotherapy, physical activity, health, physiotherapy students