Physicians who follow preventive health measures are more likely to have patients who follow preventive health measures, according to a Canadian Medical Association Journal study cited in the April 8 Medscape News Today.
The study included 1,488 physicians and their 1,886,791 adult patients. The authors examined 8 indicators, such as flu vaccination and mammograms, and found that for all indicators, patients were more likely to undergo preventive practices if their physicians had undergone the same practices (P < .05). The authors found a stronger relationship between similar preventive practices than dissimilar ones; for example, patients of physicians who did and physicians who did not receive the flu vaccine had identical mammography rates.
In their conclusion, the authors state, "Our findings suggest that there is room for improvement in some physicians' preventive practices (particularly around screening and vaccination) and that improving the health of physicians could improve outcomes for their patients as well. We believe that programs for physician health promotion should be developed and studied to determine how best to actively encourage the healthy doctor–healthy patient association."
Physical therapists who set healthy examples for their patients are featured in the March 2013 issue of PT in Motion—read about them in "Endurance Tested."
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