Physical activity management by general practitioners for prostate cancer survivors in Australia

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Barnes, Katelyn
Ball, Lauren
Galvao, Daniel A
Newton, Robert U
Chambers, Suzanne K
Harrison, Christopher
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Adelaide, Australia


Context: Physical activity is an important component of standard care to ensure quality of life for prostate cancer survivors. Prostate cancer survivorship is often managed by general practitioners. Objective: To describe the frequency of physical activity management (physical activity counselling or referrals) from general practitioners (GPs) for prostate cancer survivors. A secondary aim is to explore GP characteristics that may influence physical activity recommendations, such as GP or patient age, GP gender, and GP geographical location. Design: Secondary analysis of longitudinal survey data from the Bettering the Care and Evaluation of Health (BEACH) study. Setting: General practice. Participants: Prostate cancer survivors were identified by consultations where prostate cancer was managed, but not classified as a new problem or associated with palliative care. Findings: GPs provided physical activity recommendations at 2.0% (n = 58/2,882) of prostate cancer survivorship consultations. The physical activity management provided was physical activity counselling on 39 occasions and a physical activity referral on 19 occasions. All physical activity referrals were made to Physiotherapy. After controlling for potential confounding factors, results showed that younger GPs used physical activity management at four times the rate of older GPs, and that GPs in major cities used physical activity management at twice the rate of rural GPs. No patient characteristics influenced physical activity management. Implication(s) for practice: Australian GPs rarely incorporate physical activity management as part of their management of prostate cancer. Strategies are needed to increase the frequency with which GPs recommend physical activity for prostate cancer survivors.

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Australian Journal of Primary Health

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Barnes, K; Ball, L; Galvao, DA; Newton, RU; Chambers, SK; Harrison, C, Physical activity management by general practitioners for prostate cancer survivors in Australia, Australian Journal of Primary Health, 2019, 25 (3), pp. VI-VII