Health promotion: Physicians' beliefs, attitudes, and practices

C. M. Valente, J. Sobal, H. L. Muncie, D. M. Levine, A. M. Antlitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


There is a paucity of research describing the health-promotion beliefs, attitudes, and practices of physicians. Self-reported data from a survey of 1,040 primary care physicians showed that a majority of physicians (97 percent) believed they should modify patients' behaviors to minimize risk factors and rated a variety of health behaviors as important in promoting health. While most physicians gathered information about risk factors and believed they were prepared to counsel patients, only a small percentage (3-18 percent) reported being very successful in helping patients achieve behavioral change. However, given appropriate support, physicians reported that they could be up to six times more successful in influencing behavioral change. This study indicated that physicians have strong beliefs and interests in health promotion, are interested in continuing education about health promotion topics, and desire a variety of new skills to help patients modify their health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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