Background: The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force's Guide to Clinical Preventive Services and Healthy People 2000 recommend that physicians participate in various counseling activities, including injury prevention. Despite recommendations, rates of physician counseling, particularly injury prevention, are low. This study assessed clinical preventive services and attitudes among physicians. Furthermore, the study illustrates how physicians prioritize injury-prevention counseling relative to other prevention recommendations. Methods: Personal characteristics (i.e., demographics, specialty orientation, attitudes toward prevention, and personal health behaviors) of the residents were collected by a self-administered survey. We performed a 12-month retrospective chart review of 184 new doctor-patient encounters to determine rates of clinical preventive services that included four injury-prevention services: the use of seatbelts, helmets, and smoke detectors; and the safe storage of firearms. Results: Overall, attitudes toward injury prevention in the context of other clinical preventive services were low. Seatbelt counseling was the only injury-prevention service documented in the charts, and was performed at only one of four clinic sites. Conclusions: Clinic site as a key predictor of preventive practice may be suggestive of the importance of organizational priorities and professional norms. Future injury-prevention education efforts must aim at improving attitudes of current and future physicians to facilitate positive professional norms. Copyright (C) 2000 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health