Concurrent Sessions

A7 Exercise is Medicine: Prescribing Confidence with Unlimited Refills

Theme 7. Clinical innovations for specific populations

Presentation Details

  • Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
  • Concurrent Session A
  • Time: 2:30pm-3:15pm
  • Room:
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Clinical providers

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to implement an Exercise is Medicine (EIM) program in your Family Health Team.
  2. Learn how to use the Exercise Self Efficacy tool to measure program success.
  3. Learn how to use Action Plans in a group setting to promote weekly activity goal setting.


The EIM program was initiated at McMaster Family Practice in the fall of 2016 by two staff physiotherapists. The program included three lectures delivered over 4-6 weeks. The first week involved education about fundamental differences between exercise and physical activity, the components of exercise and a discussion around motivators and barriers for exercise participation. Participants completed a measure of exercise self-efficacy by rating (0-100%) their current level of confidence in completing exercise in increasingly longer increments to a final time of 150 minutes/week, exercise two and three times per week for the next 3 months, as well as their confidence in incorporating strength, flexibility and balance activities into their routine. Participants also indicated their current level of physical activity, framed within the stages of change theory. Participants were taken through a resistance training program to strengthen the six major muscle groups. The expectation was that the participant will take the band home to perform the exercises on their own and track their results. The final task involved setting a specific activity or exercise goal using the Action Plan. The second lecture was about exercise physiology, balance exercises were prescribed and the Action Plan was reset. The third lecture was developed according to the needs of the participants, stretching exercises were prescribed, the Action Plan was reset and the measure of self-efficacy was re-administered. Weekly tracking of all exercise was encouraged using provided documents. The group was provided with FITBITs or pedometers to track daily steps. The participants were called on the weeks they were not in class as well as at weeks 9 and 12 to confirm they were continuing to be more physically active, tracking their progress and using the Action Plans to set goals accordingly.


  • Colleen McPhee, Physiotherapist, McMaster Family Health Team
  • Laura Doyle, Physiotherapist, McMaster Family Health Team

Authors & Contributors

  • Colleen McPhee, Physiotherapist, McMaster Family Health Team
  • Laura Doyle, Physiotherapist, McMaster Family Health Team