Lifestyle discussions during doctor-older patient interactions: the role of time in the medical encounter. Academic Article uri icon


  • CONTEXT: Although physician influence can be especially powerful with older adults, relatively little is known about how primary care physicians (PCPs) interact with their patients regarding lifestyle issues. OBJECTIVE: To document the length of time that PCPs discuss lifestyle issues with their older patients and to examine patient, physician, and contextual correlates. DESIGN: Descriptive and multivariate analysis of videotapes of physician-patient encounters. SETTING: Medical encounters from 3 primary care ambulatory settings. PATIENTS: There were 116 ongoing medical encounters with patients aged 65 years or older. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total time spent in physical activity (PA) discussions and total time spent discussing PA, nutrition, and smoking during the medical encounter. RESULTS: Very little time was spent in lifestyle discussions. On average, PA was discussed for less than a minute (58.28 seconds) and nutrition for slightly less than 90 seconds (83.11 seconds). Only about 10% of the average 17-minute, 22-second encounter was spent on physical activity, nutrition, or smoking topics. Physician supportiveness score (beta = 8.92, P

published proceedings

  • MedGenMed

author list (cited authors)

  • Ory, M. G., Peck, B. M., Browning, C., & Forjuoh, S. N.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Ory, Marcia G||Peck, B Mitchell||Browning, Colette||Forjuoh, Samuel N

publication date

  • December 2007