Do health professionals practice what they preach? A systematic review
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Everyone Health Ltd, Hinckley, United Kingdom
University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2022-07-05
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2022;8(Supplement):A99
The damaging health effects of poor lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, low physical activity, obesity and excessive alcohol intake are well established. Whilst it might be expected that individuals who are educated and working in health promotion roles exhibit an improved personal health profile, when compared to other professions, counter-intuitively, research has shown that the healthcare workforce in general, exhibits the same health behaviors as the general population.

This systematic review aims to establish whether health professionals, put into practice the health behaviors they promote to their patients.

The literature search began by searching eight online databases, the search was applied to MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, ASSIA, PubMed, Ebsco and ProQuest. Studies were also identified by scanning relevant reference lists of identified articles, a grey literature search and consultation with experts in the field.

A total of 16 studies met the inclusion criteria of the review – 10 quantitative, 5 qualitative and one mixed-methods study. The studies provided a wide range of reported smoking prevalence (6.6% to 23.7%), alcohol consumption (60.8% to 94%), moderate to high levels of physical activity (19.1% to 72.7%), consuming ≥5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day (23.2% to 60.3%) and those classified as overweight or obese (9% to 60.55%).

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