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Baccalaureate Student Nurses Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, Beliefs and Practices in Engaging in Physical Activity Counseling

Sowko, Lucille Ann (2014) Baccalaureate Student Nurses Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, Beliefs and Practices in Engaging in Physical Activity Counseling. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Physical activity, is an integral health promoting behavior that patients should receive counseling on to improve or maintain their health. Counseling in the clinical setting is a strategy recommended to increase physical activity. Student nurses who receive appropriate education and practice related to physical activity counseling can potentially impact the effort to promote physical activity. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore undergraduate baccalaureate nursing student’s knowledge, self-efficacy, beliefs and practices for engaging in physical activity counseling. Methods: Baccalaureate undergraduate nursing students (N = 539) were surveyed to examine 1) knowledge of the current physical activity guidelines, 2) self-efficacy in counseling patients on physical activity, and 3) beliefs and practices related to physical activity. Additionally, the influence of the student’s academic status, type of program in which they are enrolled and their personal engagement in physical activity was explored to determine the effect on factors one through 3. Results:48% of the students would recommend an amount of physical activity that is consistent with the current physical activity guidelines. Self-efficacy for physical activity counseling was moderate-to-strong despite reporting limited opportunities to engage in physical activity counseling. Students (97%) reported that physical activity counseling was a role of the nurse. Physical activity counseling was ranked 4th among 9 other lifestyle behaviors requiring counseling but was not a priority when ranked amongst 9 other nursing care responsibilities (ranked 9th). The academic status of the student did influence the student knowledge of the guidelines, their self-efficacy, beliefs and practices. The program in which the student was enrolled influenced self-efficacy, with second degree program reporting more self-efficacy for physical activity counseling than traditional nursing program. The nursing student’s personal physical activity engagement did influence their self-efficacy and prioritization given to physical activity counseling; however, the pattern of these findings was inconsistent. Conclusion: Modifications to nursing curricula may be required to enable the nursing student to gain better knowledge, skills and experiences related to counseling patients on physical activity. This would be important for effective physical activity counseling within health care settings.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sowko, Lucille Annlas9@pitt.eduLAS9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJakicic, John Mjjakicic@pitt.eduJJAKICIC
Committee MemberHoffman, Leslie Alhof@pitt.eduLHOF
Committee MemberHoffmann, Rosemary L.rho100@pitt.eduRHO100
Committee MemberBarone Gibbs, Bethanybbarone@pitt.eduBBARONE
Date: 15 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 October 2103
Approval Date: 15 January 2014
Submission Date: 9 December 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 124
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical activity, Nursing student, counseling
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 23:07
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:16


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