Promoting Physical Activity

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Welcome to this module on Physical Activity Prescription in General Practice .The purpose of this learning package is to encourage General Practitioners to promote and prescribe exercise and physical activity as a routine component of all clinical conditions. This E-Learning module has been developed with HSE Health Promotion Physical Activity Coordinators, Faculty of Sports & Exercise Medicine (RCSI & RCSI) and the Irish Practice Nurses Association. Access is restricted to qualified General Practitioners and the website requires registration and an enrolment key which is provided by the ICGP.


Module Overview


External CPD Credits: 4
GMS Study Leave: 1/2 day
No. of Lessons: 7 
MCQ Assessment
Certificate of Completion


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This eLearning module is divided into 7 lessons. Each lesson comprises a video presentation conveying the core-material. Most presentations are under 10 minutes long to facilitate your learning. Supplementary lessons, where non-core material is presented, and relevant printable and downloadable material are also included.
This module was developed by the ICGP in coordination with the following organisations:

Faculty of Sports & Exercise Medicine
The Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, RCPI & RCSI, which was founded in 2002, is a joint faculty between the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
The Faculty has approximately 300 Fellows and Members, in Ireland and Overseas. In May 2004 the Faculty was recognised by the Minister for Health and Children and the Medical Council as the body in the State for the purpose of granting evidence of satisfactory completion of specialist training in Sports and Exercise Medicine.

Get Ireland Active
Get Ireland Active was created by a committed team of key players all working towards one main goal to 'Get Ireland Active' and promote the National Physical Activity guidelines. Representation on the group includes the HSE, Irish Sports Council, the Irish Heart Foundation, Local Sports Partnerships, National Governing Bodies of Sport, Department of Education & Skills, CARA, the HSE Community Games and Go for Life (Age and Opportunity). This expert group has worked to ensure Get Ireland Active attracts the public to engage in physical activity that will benefit their health.

Irish Practice Nurses Association
The Irish Practice Nurses Association (IPNA) is a professional membership association of Practice Nurses and was granted Charitable Tax Exemption (CHY 17932) in June 2008.
The main objective of the association is the advancement of education in general practice in Ireland by promoting and assisting nurses in further education programmes and to provide a forum for the dissemination of information on developments in the general Practice Nursing field which will promote the highest standards of care to benefit the community.



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        The seven lessons include:
        • This lesson provides some context and rationale for the need to promote physical activity. Health is presented as a positive concept and promoting physical activity rather than exercise is suggested. Definitions and detail surrounding intensity, duration and frequency of physical activity are discussed.
        • Lesson 2: Benefits of Physical Activity
          This lesson highlights evidence for the positive impact of regular physical activity across a range of conditions.
        • Lesson 3: National Physical Activity Guidelines
          This lesson presents and overview and summary of the National Physical Activity Guidelines.
        • Lesson 4: Assessment of Activity Levels
          This lesson discusses how to assess physical activity levels and introduces the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ).
        • Lesson 5: Motivational Interviewing 
          This lesson reviews the principles of motivational interviewing and provides some examples of MI in the context of promoting physical activity.
        • Lesson 6: Exercise Prescription
          This lesson presents the concept of formalising advice on physical activity through the provision of an exercise prescription. 
        • Lesson 7: Management in Primary Care
          This lesson suggests how to provide exercise advice in general practice and describes the GP Exercise Referral Programme for patients who might benefit from it. 

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The Medical Council has defined eight domains of good professional practice. These domains describe a framework of competencies applicable to all doctors across the continuum of professional development from formal medical education and training through to maintenance of professional competence. Since they describe the outcomes which doctors should strive to achieve, doctors should refer to these domains throughout the process of maintaining competence. In order to assist you in planning your professional competence, ICGP eLearning highlight the domains addressed in each module as set out below. 
NOTE: While a number of ICGP modules have a tight focus on one or two domains, most modules endeavour to address all domains to some degree (low, medium, high). This is clearly displayed in the diagram below



Last modified: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:46 PM