NICE: GPs should screen all adults for exercise habits (29th November, Pulse)

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02 December 2012

GPs and practice nurses should screen all adults to determine if they reach recommended levels of physical activity, recommends draft guidance published by NICE.

The guidance says practices should opportunistically use questionnaires to determine the activity of all their adult patients in consultations and tailor advice to those who are not sufficiently active including identifying motivational issues.

The guidance also said physically active patients should also be advised to maintain their habits, and recommends that QOF indicators are developed to 'raise the profile of physical activity' among GPs.

The radical proposal published this month are designed to make enquiries about physical activity 'more routinely' incorporated into daily practice, and supports the 'making every contact count' philosophy enshrined in the NHS Mandate published earlier this year.

The guidance says: 'For people who are assessed as being inactive, identify the most appropriate time to discuss physical activity. This might be in the current consultation or in a later consultation, and might involve referral to another member of the primary care team.

'If it is in a later consultation, make sure it occurs at the earliest opportunity and ensure that the person, at the minimum, leaves the initial session aware of the health benefits of activity.'

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