Primary care providers' recommendations for hypertension prevention, DocStyles Survey, 2012
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Primary care providers' recommendations for hypertension prevention, DocStyles Survey, 2012

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Prim Care Community Health
  • Description:

    Healthy behaviors, including maintaining an ideal body weight, eating a healthy diet, being physically active, limiting alcohol intake, and not smoking, can help prevent hypertension. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of recommending these behaviors to patients by primary care providers (PCPs) and to assess what PCP characteristics, if any, were associated with making the recommendations.


    DocStyles 2012, a web-based panel survey, was used to assess PCPs' demographic characteristics, health-related behaviors, practice setting, and prevalence of making selected recommendations to prevent hypertension. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds of making all 6 recommendations, by demographic, professional, or personal health behavior characteristics.


    Overall, 1,253 PCPs responded to the survey (537 family physicians, 464 internists, and 252 nurse practitioners). To prevent hypertension, 89.4% recommended a healthy diet, 89.9% recommended lower salt intake, 90.3% recommended maintaining a healthy weight, 69.4% recommended limiting alcohol intake, 95.1% recommended being physically active, and 90.4% recommended smoking cessation for their patients who smoked. More than half (56.1%) of PCPs recommended all 6 healthy behaviors. PCPs' demographic characteristics and practice setting were not associated with recommending all 6. PCPs who reported participating in regular physical activity (odds ratio [OR] 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05−2.67) and eating healthy diet (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.11−2.56) were more likely to offer all 6 healthy behavior recommendations than those without these behaviors.


    Most PCPs recommended healthy behaviors to their adult patients to prevent hypertension. PCPs' own healthy behaviors were associated with their recommendations. Preventing hypertension is a multifactorial effort, and in the clinical environment, PCPs have frequent opportunities to model and promote healthy lifestyles to their patients.

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