Programme no. 432-OP
Public Health
Lifestyle advice and lifestyle change: to what degree does lifestyle advice of healthcare professionals reach the population, focusing on gender, age and education?
Håkan Bergh 1, Elisabeth Brobeck2
1Department of Research, Development and Education ,Varberg,Sweden, 2Högskolan i Halmstad,Halmstad,Sweden
* = Presenting author
Objectives: The purpose of the study was to investigate whether there is any connection between the lifestyle advice given by healthcare professionals and the lifestyle change of the population , focusing on age, gender and education level.
Background: Health promotion practice in haelth care has a high priority in the endeavour to achieve equal opportunities for health and diversity in health among the population.
Results: The results indicated that lifestyle issues were raised with 32,2% of those who attended health care, particularly among men, younger patients and those with a high education level. When lifestyle issues were raised, the advice contributed to 39,2% of patients making a lifestyle change, to a higher extent among men, older patients and those with a low education level. The study shows that lifestyle advice given by healthcare professionals, during both emergency and outpatient healthcare visits, is an important contributor to patients' lifestyle change.
Material/Methods: The study is based on the data from a national population survey in Sweden in which 52 595 patients who had attended health care were interviewed by phone. The participants were asked whether healthcare professionals had raised the subject of lifestyle during the visit and whether the advice they gave had contributed to lifestyle change.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated that raising lifestyle issues could be effective, both in emergency and in outpatient visits. Such issues, however, were only raised in a third of healthcare professionals' encounters with patients but lifestyle advice given by healthcare professionals can contribute to patients lifestyle change.
Points for discussion: Healthcare professionals need to become more awere of the importance of the impact that their lifestyle advice has on their patients' lifestyle change and about the importance of discussing lifestyle change with all patients.