Healthy CHAT / Section One: Introduction
Support and advice from a trusted healthcare worker can help people make healthy lifestyle changes.
Is this support & advice currently given in healthcare settings? A phone survey of over 1,000 clients in NSW found that preventive advice was not provided opportunistically to all clients, despite strong client support for this. REF
McElwaine, K.M., Freund, M., Campbell, E.M. et al. (2013) The delivery of preventive care to clients of community health services. BMC Health Serv Res 13, 167 doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-167
Evidence shows that if a healthcare worker does NOT say anything, this may be taken as passive acceptance by clients that there is no need to change an unhealthy behaviour. REF
Consistent messages about healthy lifestyle choices from different healthcare workers can have a cumulative effect. Multiple messages over time can support a person to be ready to make change. REF
Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, 2017, National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions. Australian Government. Canberra.
“My doctor/nurse/healthcare worker knows I smoke and hasn’t said anything, so I guess it must be OK”
What can I do?
As a healthcare worker you can help people to start thinking about healthy lifestyle choice and offer them advice about resources to support change.
Evidence has shown that brief advice from healthcare workers can be effective in supporting people to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Is giving brief simple advice to people effective?
Brief advice has been shown to be a straightforward and inexpensive approach to promoting and maintaining smoking cessation.REF
Brief advice can improve short-term dietary behaviours.REF
Brief advice is proven to be successful in addressing hazardous and harmful drinking in adults.REF
Brief advice is a cost-effective way to increase activity levels among adults.REF
Brief advice is recommended as an approach to building health literacy in the community.
Stead et al. 2013, Physician advice for smoking cessation, Cochrane Systematic Review
Whatnall MC, Petterson AJ, Ashton LM & Hutchesson MJ, (2017). Effectiveness of brief nutrition interventions on dietary behaviours in adults: A systematic review. Appetite. 2018 Jan 1;120:335-347. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.09.017. Epub 2017 Sep 23
O’Donnell, A., Anderson, P., Newbury-Birch, D., Schulte, B., Schmidt, C., Reimer, J., & Kaner, E. (2014). The impact of brief alcohol interventions in primary healthcare: a systematic review of reviews. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), 49(1), 66–78. doi:10.1093/alcalc/agt170
Vijay, G.C., Wilson, E.C., Suhrcke, M., Hardeman, W., Sutton, S., & VBI Programme Team (2016). Are brief interventions to increase physical activity cost-effective? A systematic review. British journal of sports medicine, 50(7), 408–417. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2015-094655