The Green Prescription and older adults: What do general practitioners see as barriers?

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Patel, A., Kolt, G. S., Keogh, J. W. L., & Schofield, G. M. (2012). The Green Prescription and older adults: What do general practitioners see as barriers? Journal of Primary Health Care, 4(4), 320-327.

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Introduction: Limited research exists that has examined the barriers that older adults (those aged 65 years and older) can encounter when given a Green Prescription (GRx). This study aimed to identify what general practitioners (GPs) perceived their older-aged patients’ barriers were with regard to carrying out a GRx. This study also identified the strategies that GPs used to assist their older-aged patients in overcoming barriers to physical activity engagement.

Methods: Fifteen GPs from the Auckland region of New Zealand were interviewed individually. An inductive thematic approach was used to analyse data.

Findings: GPs identified chronic health conditions, fear of injury, transportation constraints, set routines and lack of confidence as being barriers that some of their older-aged patients have encountered when considering whether to become more physically active and, also, when engaging in actual physical activity.

Conclusion: Physical activity interventions, such as the GRx programme, can have an important role in helping confer health-related gain for low-active older adults. To ensure that such interventions are successful on a long-term basis, practitioners need to be aware of the barriers that their older-aged patients can encounter when given a prescription for physical activity.



This document has been peer reviewed.