Extending Physician ReACH: influencing patient activation and behavior through multichannel physician communication

Patient Educ Couns. 2013 Apr;91(1):72-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.11.011. Epub 2012 Dec 7.


Objective: Despite evidence-based recommendations, physical activity as a self-management technique is underutilized. Many physical activity interventions require significant resources, ranging from repeated phone follow-up with nursing staff to intensive sessions with cooperating physical therapists. This intervention, Extending Physician ReACH (Relationship And Communication in Healthcare), examined physician to patient communication tactics for promoting walking exercise to patients with type 2 diabetes, using limited clinic time and financial resources.

Methods: This was a single-site, six-month prospective intervention, which implemented theoretically driven, evidenced-based information factor strategies. Of the 128 volunteers who participated in the initial clinic visit, 67 patients with type 2 diabetes completed the six-month intervention.

Results: Significant intervention effects were detected risk perception, social norms, and patient activation.

Conclusions: This study was designed to identify information factors that could affect physician success in motivating patients with type 2 diabetes to enact the ADA physical activity recommendations.

Practice implications: The success of this intervention models a strategy through which clinicians can reach beyond "one-shot" persuasion without placing onerous time and resource demands on physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Choice Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Writing