Clinician reflections on promotion of healthy behaviors in primary care practice

Susan A. Flocke, Benjamin F. Crabtree, Kurt C. Stange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: Recommendations to use integrated models for health behavior change abound, however, the translation to practice has been poor. We used stimulated reflections of primary care physicians and nurse practitioners to generate insights about current practices and opportunities for changing how health behavior advice is addressed. Method: Twenty-one community practicing primary care clinicians invited to a nationally sponsored practice-based research network conference on promotion of healthy behaviors were asked to record aspects of health behaviors they addressed during a day of outpatient visits. In response to eight questions, clinicians reflected insights which were then analyzed by a multidisciplinary team to identify over-arching themes. Results: Health behavior discussions are initiated and carried out predominantly by the clinician. These discussions occur primarily during health care maintenance visits or visits in which presenting complaints or chronic illnesses can be linked to health behaviors. Clinicians' reflections on viable opportunities for change include different modes of patient education materials such as web-based materials. Suprisingly infrequent were solutions outside of the clinical encounter or strategies that engage other staff or other community partners. Conclusion: Implementation of the integrated care model as an opportunity to enhance health promotion seems far from the current realities and future vision of even motivated network-based clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalHealth policy
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Health promotion
  • Practice patterns
  • Practice-based research
  • Primary care practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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