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Tan NC, Aw LF, Khin LW, Thirumoorthy T, Lim SH, Tai BC, Goh LG
Correspondence: Dr Tan Ngiap Chuan, Tan.Ngiap.Chuan@singhealth.com.sg
INTRODUCTION Not much is known regarding how primary care physicians (PCPs) in Singapore keep themselves healthy and mitigate ill health. This study aims to determine the health-seeking behaviour of local PCPs and to identify the predictors of local PCPs attaining the recommended level of exercise.
METHODS This study was a cross-sectional questionnaire survey, which included questions on the demographic characteristics, practice profiles and health-seeking behaviour of PCPs. The sampling frame was the 1,400 listed members of the College of Family Physicians Singapore. The anonymised survey was executed in two phases: a postal survey, followed by a web-based survey on the College of Family Physicians Singapore website. The two data sets were collated; the categorical variables, summarised; and the differences between subgroups (based on exercise engagement), compared using Fisher’s exact test. The effect of each risk factor on exercise duration was quantified using odds ratio (OR) estimate and 95% confidence interval (CI). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify significant predictors of exercise engagement.
RESULTS A total of 631 PCPs participated in the survey – 26% were ≤ 34 years old, 58% were male, 21% were single, 34% were singleton practitioners, and 56% were private practitioners. The percentage of PCPs who exercised ≥ 2.5 hours weekly was 29%, while 28% exercised < 0.5 hours weekly. Of the PCPs surveyed, 1% currently smoke, 0.8% drink more than 14 units of alcohol weekly, 60% undertook health screening, 65% had blood investigations done, and 64% had taken preventive measures such as getting influenza vaccination.
CONCLUSION While local PCPs generally did not have undesirable habits such as smoking and alcohol abuse, they could further increase their exercise intensity and undertake more preventive measures such as getting vaccinated against various diseases.
Keywords: exercise, health, primary care physicians, vaccination
Singapore Med J 2014; 55(3): 155-159; http://dx.doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2014036
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