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  • New in the Literature: Behavior Change (Physiother Theory Pract. 2012;28(8):571-587.)

    Physical therapists (PTs) can effectively counsel patients with respect to lifestyle behavior change, at least in the short term, say authors of a systematic review published in the November issue of Physiotherapy Theory and Practice. PTs can be effective health counselors individually or within an interprofessional team, they add.  

    For this review, the authors searched databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from 1950 to July 2010. Studies were limited to the English, German, and Dutch languages. They evaluated methodological quality using the Downs and Black tool.

    Seven source articles with a mean quality score of 16.57 ± 4.24 points (range: low = 0; high = 28) were retrieved. Given considerable methodological heterogeneity, the studies were compared in a narrative synthesis. The target populations, types and periods of interventions, outcome measures, and findings were analyzed.

    According to the authors, multiple health behavior change needs to be a primary 21st century clinical competence in physical therapy. Future studies will establish the degree to which effective health counseling augments physical therapy as well as health outcomes, in the long and short term.

    APTA recently launched a podcast series on behavior change that provides information on key theories and models and their value to physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. The podcasts and other resources can be found on APTA's Health Behavior Change webpage.

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