In interviews, when asked about their role in preventative health care, most clinicians reported activities related to chronic disease management. It was only when prompted about their role in primary prevention, preventative health care in patients with risk factors but without disease, that they considered other strategies.
Table 13 reports the percentage of patients in the surveys reporting that their clinicians either sometimes or always discussed aspects of preventative care with them.
Table 13: Percentage Patients Reporting Discussion with Clinicians about Preventative Care
|Reason for attending#||Percentage agreeing*|
|95% confidence interval&|
|Discussion about lifestyle risks||59||48||69||5.2|
|Advice about changing lifestyle risks||55||40||69||9.7|
|Advice about better management of health||65||49||78||10.6|
* Percentage reporting issue sometimes or always discussed
# Reasons are not mutually exclusive
& Standard error adjusted for correlation of patients within clinics using the jack-knife method option of the survey tabulate command in Stata
Less than two-thirds of patients reported that their GPs or health care workers discussed any of the specified aspects of health or health care, such as ways of managing their health (65%; 95% CI 49%-78%), lifestyle risks (59%; 95% CI 48%-69%) and advice about changing lifestyle risks (55%; 95% CI 40%-69%). In comparison, in another Australian study focusing on prevention advice about obesity, only one-third of over-weight or obese patients recalled receiving dietary and/or exercise advice from their GPs in the past 12 months.32
Clinicians were asked the same questions in relation to preventative care. Table 14 reports the results from these questions for clinicians.
Table 14: Percentage Clinicians Reporting Discussion with Patients about Preventative Care
|Percentage agreeing ^|
|95 % Confidence Interval|
Lifestyle risks (e.g. smoking) that might impact on their health
Advice about changing lifestyle risks (like doing more exercise)
How to better self-manage their health conditions
^ Percentage of clinician who reported sometimes or always discussing each aspect of health care
Most clinicians reported that they sometimes or always discussed with their patients lifestyle risks, advice about changing lifestyle risks and how to better manage their health conditions (98%, 95% CI 89%-100% for all aspect of preventive care). Patient report of these discussion was much lower: with 65% reporting that their GP or health worker provided advice about better management of their health; 59% reporting receiving discussion and 55% reporting advice about lifestyle risks was lower than the proportion of health workers reporting discussing those aspects of care.