Health Care Facility-based Settings

Health care facility-based interventions often entail physical activity counseling by a health care provider in public or private health care settings (e.g., doctor’s office, hospital, health department or assisted living facility). However, these interventions can also include training for health care providers on the importance of physical activity, ways to achieve the recommended levels of activity, and specific information for subpopulations (e.g., children, people with a disability or those with depression). Some of the challenges in the health care setting include the limited time health care providers may have to visit with their individuals and the risk of information overload give the competing health priorities with physical activity (e.g., diet, tobacco use or adherence to a medical pill regimen). Referrals can also be an important part of interventions in health care settings.

Previous work in health care facility-based settings has found:

  • Visual media placed in health care settings may help remind health care providers remember to speak with individuals about physical activity.
  • Health care settings (e.g., hospitals, pharmacies, maternal clinics, dental clinics, WIC clinics, emergency rooms, newborn service providers, residential care facilities, and pediatrician clinics) are important settings for physical activity education interventions because of the natural provider-patient exchange.
  • Providing physical activity education for individuals in rehabilitative care may be an important step in improving health outcomes. 
  • Because organizations in health care facility-based settings assess and store information on individuals, they are well-suited for physical activity education interventions because individual information is already collected and communication systems for these individuals are already in place. These settings make it easier to distribute individually tailored information to participants.

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