Physicians' practices in counseling patients about health habits

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Alcohol Drinking; Body Weight; Counseling; *Habits; *Health Education; Humans; Physical Exertion; *Physician-Patient Relations; Smoking; United States


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


The authors developed and tested a model of two dimensions of physicians' behavior in counseling patients about four health habits (smoking, weight control, alcohol consumption, and regular exercise). The two dimensions are the indications for routine counseling and the aggressiveness of counseling style. To test these dimensions, a questionnaire was administered to a random sample of members of a Western County Medical Society in 1978. The response rate was 76%. Indications and Aggressiveness subscales were developed for each habit. Reliability and discriminant validity for all subscales was excellent. Descriptive results were consistent with expectations, e.g., physicians counseled more about smoking and weight control than about alcohol and exercise. The results support the dimensions and suggest that the questionnaire will be useful for future research on counseling behavior.


Med Care. 1984 Mar;22(3):240-6. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical care

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed