As exercise referral instructors or instructors working with special population groups you will hopefully soon, if you haven’t already, come across Moving healthcare professionals and Moving medicine; an initiative by the Faculty of Sport & Exercise Medicine UK in partnership with Public Health England and Sport England which launched in October 2018.
The idea is that healthcare professionals reach a large percentage of the population and are a trusted source of advice. They are often seeing people at risk of or who already have health conditions and they could make a big difference in encouraging those people to increase activity levels. 22,000 practicing healthcare professionals have received practical training which is provided by clinical champions.
It is about encouraging doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and support staff to talk to patients about the positive effects that a little bit of movement can have on the symptoms of many common diseases. It works on the information that:
‘Currently, one in four people in England aged 16 and over are doing less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, meaning they are inactive’.
‘Physical inactivity is in the top 10 greatest causes of ill health nationally. Evidence shows that one in four patients would be more active if advised by a GP or nurse, yet nearly three quarters of GPs don’t speak about the benefits of physical activity to patients because of either a lack of knowledge, skills or confidence’.
Moving medicine is an evidence based digital resource to provide the healthcare professionals with advice on how to talk to patients about activity. The toolkit is designed to use the latest evidence to support healthcare professionals and address the knowledge and skills gap in the NHS.
Recognising that doctors often have limited time with a patient it uses 1 min, 5 min or ‘more minutes’ guided conversations which use the format of motivational interviewing with the headings:
- Explore benefits
- Explore concerns
- Build readiness
- Agree a plan
- Arrange support
10 conditions are covered: Cancer, COPD, Dementia, Depression, Falls and Frailty, Inflammatory Rheumatic Disease, Ischaemic Heart Disease, Musculoskeletal pain, Disease prevention and Type 2 Diabetes.
The information is in an easy to use format as the condition and time available can be clicked on and the format followed. The professional can take the patient through the benefits of exercise, common barriers and concerns for each condition and how to answer them, how to build activity into daily life and positive and negative decision graphics.
It also serves as a good resource for fitness instructors working with these populations and all evidence-based advice is referenced.
Each condition has a leaflet which can be downloaded and there is a patient workbook which includes goal setting and an activity planner. Click on this link to access the workbook.
All the information is available to anyone to look at/ use and it will be interesting to see how this tool will help healthcare professionals spread the message that people with complex health needs and conditions should become more active to help manage their symptoms and improve their health..
Visit the website to see this new and fantastic resource: http://movingmedicine.ac.uk
Author: Helen Tosdevin