Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundThis systematic review aimed to summarize and evaluate the prevalence of physical activity (PA) counseling in primary care.MethodsFive databases (CINAHL Complete, Embase, Medline, PsycInfo, and Web of Science) were searched. Primary epidemiological studies on PA counseling in primary care were included. The Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal checklist for studies reporting prevalence data was used to assess the quality of studies. The review protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021284570).ResultsAfter duplicate removal, 4990 articles were screened, and 120 full-text articles were then assessed. Forty studies were included, with quality assessment scores ranging from 5/9 to 9/9. The pooled prevalence of PA counseling based on 35 studies (199830 participants) was 37.9% (95% CI 31.2 to 44.6). The subgroup analyses showed that the prevalence of PA counseling was 33.1% (95% CI: 22.6 to 43.7) in females (10 studies), 32.1% (95% CI: 22.6 to 41.7) in males (10 studies), 65.5% (95% CI: 5.70 to 74.1) in people with diabetes mellitus (6 studies), 41.6% (95% CI: 34.9 to 48.3) in people with hypertension (5 studies), and 56.8% (95% CI: 31.7 to 82.0) in people with overweight or obesity (5 studies). All meta-analyses showed high levels of heterogeneity (I2=93% to 100%).ConclusionThe overall prevalence of PA counseling in primary care was low. The high levels of heterogeneity suggest variability in the perspectives and practices of PA counseling in primary care. PA counseling should be standardized to ensure its optimum effectiveness in primary care.

Original publication




Journal article


Health promotion perspectives

Publication Date





254 - 266


Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand.