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Primary care physicians’ own exercise habits influence exercise counseling for patients with chronic kidney disease: a cross-sectional study

Yoshiyuki Morishita1*, Akihiko Numata1, Atushi Miki1, Mari Okada1, Kenichi Ishibashi2, Fumi Takemoto1, Yasuhiro Ando1, Shigeaki Muto1, Daisuke Nagata1 and Eiji Kusano3

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Jichi Medical University, 3311-1, Yakushiji, Shimotsuke-city, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan

2 Department of Medical Physiology, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Kiyose, Japan

3 Department of Internal medicine, Ustunomiya Social Insurance Hospital, Ustunomiya, Japan

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BMC Nephrology 2014, 15:48  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-15-48

Published: 19 March 2014



The appropriate exercise counseling for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients is crucial to improve their prognosis. There have been few studies about exercise counseling by primary care physicians for CKD patients. We investigated primary care physicians’ exercise counseling practices for CKD patients, and the association of these physicians’ own exercise habits with exercise counseling.


The population of this cross-sectional study was 3310 medical doctors who graduated from Jichi Medical University from 1978 to 2012. The study instrument was a self-administered questionnaire that was mailed in August 2012 to investigate their age class, specialty, workplace, exercise habits, and practices of exercise counseling for CKD.


581 (64.8%) medical doctors practiced the management of CKD among a total of 933 responses. These 581 medical doctors were defined as CKD primary care physicians and their answers were analyzed. CKD primary care physicians’ own exercise habits (frequencies and intensities) were as follows: frequencies: daily, 71 (12.1%); ≥2–3 times/week, 154 (26.5%); ≥1 time/week, 146 (25.1%); and ≤1 time/month, 176 (30.2%); intensities: high (≥6 Mets), 175 (30.1%); moderate (4–6 Mets), 132 (22.7%); mild (3–4 Mets), 188 (32.3%); very mild (<3 Mets), 47 (8.1%); and none, 37 (6.4%). The CKD primary care physicians’ exercise recommendation levels for CKD patients were as follows: high, 31 (5.3%); moderate, 176 (29.7%); low, 256 (44.0%); and none, 92 (15.8%). The CKD primary care physicians’ exercise recommendations for CKD patients were significantly related to their own exercise frequency (p < 0.001), but they were not related to their age, specialty, workplace, or exercise intensity.


CKD primary care physicians’ exercise recommendation level for CKD patients was limited. In addition, CKD primary care physicians’ own exercise habits influenced the exercise counseling for CKD patients. The establishment of guidelines for exercise by CKD patients and their dissemination among primary care physicians are needed.

(University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trial Registry. number, UMIN000011803. Registration date, Sep/19/2013)