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Open Access Research article

Knowledge, attitude and practice of physiotherapists towards promotion of physically active lifestyles in patient management

Happiness A Aweto*, Cynthia N Oligbo, Oluseun A Fapojuwo and Olajide A Olawale

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Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

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Citation and License

BMC Health Services Research 2013, 13:21  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-21

Published: 14 January 2013



Physiotherapists as primary health care practitioners are well placed in promoting physically active lifestyles, but their role and practice towards its promotion among patients in Nigeria has not been fully investigated. This study was therefore aimed at determining the knowledge, attitude and practice of Nigerian physiotherapists towards promotion of non-treatment physical activity among patients.


Three hundred and eight practicing physiotherapists from various public and private hospitals in 14 states of Nigeria completed an adopted 20-item questionnaire, which collected information on physical activity promotion in physiotherapy practice.


Respondents with good knowledge and attitude towards physical activity promotion in patient management were 196(63.6%) and 292(94.8%) respectively. Only 111 (36%) of the respondents counselled more than 10 patients in the past one month on the benefits of adopting a more physically active lifestyle. Chi-square analysis showed a significant association between low practice of physical activity promotion in patient management with inadequate consultation time (ℵ2 = 3.36, p = 0.043), years of working experience of physiotherapists (ℵ2 = 11.37, p =0.023) and relative physical activity levels of physiotherapists (ℵ2 = 11.82, p = 0.037). The need for Physical activity recommendation guideline was supported by 287 (97%) respondents.


Nigerian physiotherapists have good knowledge and attitude towards promotion of physically active lifestyle in their patients but do not counsel many of them, due to insufficient consultation time. Integrating brief counselling into usual treatment sessions is perceived as the most feasible form of physical activity promotion in patient management.

Knowledge; Attitude; Practice; Physical activity