Background. GPs play a role in prevention by giving nutrition education and advice on overweight. Over the years, GP's tasks and working environment changed. Objective. To know how task perceptions, perceptions of own ability and perceived barriers regarding nutrition education and treatment of overweight of Dutch GPs have developed from 1992 to 2007. Methods. In all, 488 GPs, first included in study in 1992, were asked in 2007 to return the Wageningen PCPs Nutritional Practices Questionnaire. Crohnbach's alphas and sum scores were calculated and differences between 1992 and 2007 were investigated using a paired t-test. Results. In all, 247 GPs responded (51%). `Noticing patients overweight and guidance of treatment¿ did not change in GPs from 1992 to 2007. The task perception about health education and prevention did not change and the perception of daily activities shifted from the curative to the preventive side. Interest in the influence of nutrition on health increased in 2007. GPs less often managed to counsel on nutrition in daily practice. Their perceived capacity to counsel and their self-efficacy regarding overweight management declined over the years. In 2007, more GPs perceived the barriers `lack of time¿ to treat overweight and to give nutrition education. The most important barrier in 2007 was lack of patient motivation. Conclusions. The GPs perceived overweight and nutrition education as important and were still favourable towards prevention. However, their potential to give nutrition education or guide in treatment of overweight was not fully utilized because of decreased self-efficacy factors and perceived barriers.
- primary-care physicians