Confidence lacking in lifestyle counseling

October 22, 2010

Physicians' confidence in their ability to counsel patients on a healthy diet and exercise may be related to their own personal habits, according to a new study.

Physicians' confidence in their ability to counsel patients on a healthy diet and exercise may be related to their own personal habits, according to a study by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center.

In a survey of 500 primary care trainee and attending physicians, a majority of attending physicians talked to patients about a healthy diet compared to 36% of trainees. Factors that predicted confidence in counseling included the doctor's own exercise time, being overweight, and if the doctor had adequate training in counseling patients.

The study, published online ahead of print October 1 in Preventive Cardiology, showed attending physicians reported taking better care of themselves than trainees.