Utilizing a simple stimulus control strategy to increase physician referrals for physical activity promotion

Fabio A. Almeida, Renae L. Smith-Ray, Rain Van Den Berg, Patti Schriener, Mike Gonzales, Pierre Onda, Paul A. Estabrooks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Within the busy clinic visit and multiple preventive guidelines to follow, the rate of physician referral for physical activity (PA) is disappointing. This study used an interrupted time-series design to determine the effect of a simple stimulus control strategy to increase physician referrals for PA when compared to standard care before and after exposure to the stimulus control intervention. The number of referrals (N = 218 total) per week was significantly higher during weeks when the stimulus control intervention was used (p < .01). Approximately 77% of participants referred during standard care weeks initiated a PA program while 67% of those referred during stimulus control weeks initiated PA. These rate differences were significant (p < .05). Nonetheless, the number of individuals who initiated PA was greater during stimulus control weeks than during usual care weeks (p < .05; 9.8 vs. 5.6), due to the larger total volume of referrals. We concluded that stimulus control interventions targeting physician referrals are a practical method for enhancing participation in PA programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Intervention
  • Operant conditioning
  • Reach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

Cite this