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Exercise as a Vital Sign: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis of a Health System Intervention to Collect Patient-Reported Exercise Levels

Lack of regular physical activity is highly prevalent in U.S. adults and significantly increases mortality risk. To examine the clinical impact of a newly implemented program (“Exercise as a Vital Sign” [EVS]) designed to systematically ascertain patient-reported exercise levels at the beginning of each outpatient visit. The EVS program was implemented in four of 11 medical centers between April 2010 and October 2011 within a single health delivery system (Kaiser Permanente Northern California). We used a quasi-experimental analysis approach to compare visit-level and patient-level outcomes among practices with and without the EVS program. Our longitudinal observational cohort included over 1.5 million visits by 696,267 adults to 1,196 primary care providers. Exercise documentation in physician progress notes; lifestyle-related referrals (e.g. exercise programs, nutrition and weight loss consultation); patient report of physician exercise counseling; weight change among overweight/obese patients; and HbA1c changes among patients with diabetes. EVS implementation was associated with greater exercise-related progress note documentation (26.2 % vs 23.7 % of visits, aOR 1.12 [95 % CI: 1.11-1.13], p??7.0 % (n?=?30,487) had greater relative HbA1c decline (0.1 % [0.07 %-0.13 %], p?

Authors: Grant RW; Schmittdiel JA; Neugebauer RS; Uratsu CS; Sternfeld B

J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Feb;29(2):341-8. Epub 2013-12-06.

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