Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze patient-reported health issues and levels of engagement, discussion of needed lifestyle changes, and goal setting with the patient’s intern or staff doctor before and after a brief intervention to increase health-promoting activities in the clinic.
Methods: Patient surveys were developed and administered to outpatients before and after a brief intervention aimed at increasing staff and intern engagement with patients on health promotion measures. Patients self-reported areas of need and levels of engagement by their doctor or intern. Data were analyzed as pre- and postintervention independent, cross-sectional samples. Frequencies and chi-square assessments were performed.
Results: One hundred twenty-eight preintervention surveys and 162 postintervention surveys were collected. Back pain was the most common reason for being seen in the clinic (60% of patients) and most patients were white. More than 10% were smokers in both samples. Many patients reported poor diet, unhealthy weight, sleep issues, stress, or lack of regular physical activity, but 65% of the preintervention group and 72% of the postintervention group said a needed lifestyle change was discussed. Goals were set for 74% of the preintervention group and 84% of the postintervention group (p = .04). Information on lifestyle change was received by 52% of preintervention patients and 62% of postintervention patients and most were satisfied with this information. Goal setting was more common when a lifestyle change was discussed. Written information that was related to physical activity, for example, increased 350% (p < .0001).
Conclusion: There are many opportunities for discussing needed lifestyle changes with patients. Patients self-report health behavioral issues related to physical activity, unhealthy weight, diet, stress, and sleep. More can be done in this area by this clinic, but initial assessments of impact from a brief intervention seem to have increased some levels of engagement by interns.
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