Survey Finds Few Practices in RWJF Research Network Provide Services to Their Patients on Adopting Healthy Lifestyles

Baseline survey on efforts to assist patients in adopting healthy lifestyles in practice-based research networks

Researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School developed and conducted a preliminary survey of participants in the RWJF national program Prescription for Health: Promoting Healthy Behaviors in Primary Care Research Networks.

Under the Prescription for Health initiative, primary care practices are developing strategies for promoting healthy behavior among patients, concentrating on four leading health risk factors: lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, tobacco use and alcohol abuse.

Key Results

The researchers accomplished the following:

  • Developed two evaluation instruments.

    • The Practice Staff Questionnaire collects information about how a practice operates.
    • The Practice Information Form collects demographic information about the practice.
    • The researchers pilot-tested both questionnaires in 11 New Jersey practices.
  • Collected baseline data from 104 practices. Findings included:

    • The majority of the practices were single-specialty group practices.
    • Few of the practices regularly provided services related to increasing physical activity, improving unhealthy diet or preventing or eliminating tobacco or alcohol abuse.
    • Most staff members perceived their work environment as moderately stressful and chaotic.
    • The majority of practices identified their dominant culture type as group-oriented.
  • Established Web-based grantee diaries. Participants can log onto a Web-based "room" and share their thoughts on the issues they are facing and what it takes to integrate health behavior change in primary care practices.