February 16, 2017—A new study led by American Cancer Society researchers in collaboration with leading experts concludes that physical activity should be routinely assessed during the doctor-patient encounter, and that clinicians should design in collaboration with their patients a detailed physical activity plan with goals that should be set and monitored. The study uses concepts from public health and behavioral economics to provide practical advice to clinicians on effective counseling to patients. The study appears early online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
“Physical activity is a modifiable behavior that has the potential to prevent numerous diseases, however, so many of us are not sufficiently active. Both conscious and unconscious factors are at play that influence our behavior.” said Dr. Shuval. “It’s difficult to choose activities we ‘should’ do over those we ‘want’ to do. Clinicians can help play a role in creating strategies, such as encouraging the use of pre-commitment contracts which impose constraints on our ‘future selves’ to act in a way that will benefit us in the long run.”
Additional study authors include: Jeffrey Drope, PhD (American Cancer Society), David Katz, MD MPH (Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center), Alpa Patel, PhD (American Cancer Society), Melissa Maitin-Shepard, MPP (American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network), On Amir, PhD (University of California San Diego), Amir Grinstein, PhD (Northeastern University and VU Amsterdam).
Article: Physical activity counseling in primary care: Insights from public health and behavioral economics. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. doi:10.3322/caac.21394