Tuesday, July 13, 2010

American Heart Association Scientific Statement: Combined Behavioral Interventions Best Way to Reduce Heart Disease Risk

“Combining counseling, extended follow-up with a healthcare provider and self-monitoring of diet and exercise is the most effective way to help patients embrace lifestyle changes that can lower their risk for heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) diseases, according to a scientific statement published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Current healthcare policies should be modified to encourage these interventions, the study's authors said. ‘We need to do a better job finding ways to help people not only change their behaviors, but maintain them over a lifetime,"’ said Nancy T. Artinian, Ph.D., R.N., professor, associate dean for research and director of the Center for Health Research at Wayne State University College of Nursing in Detroit, Mich. ‘As healthcare providers, we're pretty good at saying that you are at risk for a disease, you need to lose weight, be more physically active, and eat more fruits and vegetables. While that's easy to say, it's not easy for the person to actually translate it into their everyday life.’ The statement is based on an extensive review of peer-reviewed scientific studies. Artinian and her co-authors identified several critical parts of effective behavioral change programs, including healthcare providers using a motivational interviewing technique to encourage patients to make healthier lifestyle choices, counseling patients that occasional setbacks are normal, and scheduling recurring follow-up sessions with patients The most effective patient-controlled behaviors include setting specific goals for physical activity and dietary improvements, and keeping track of progress towards their goals, Artinian said.”


No comments: