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Lifestyle counseling in primary care: The views of family physicians in United States and Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
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2017 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 27, no suppl_3, p. 333-Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The role of primary care professionals in lifestyle counseling is receiving attention at the national level in many countries. The U.S. and Sweden are two countries currently establishing priorities in these areas. A study comparing the countries demonstrates large differences between the extents that family physicians report being engaged in counseling on lifestyle issues, and how important they perceive it to be (Weinehall et al. Counseling on lifestyle habits in the United States and Sweden. BMC Family Practice 2014;15:83).

With the overall aim of facilitating lifestyle counselling in primary care, the objective of the present qualitative study was to explore further the views of American and Swedish family physicians about lifestyle counseling, in order to clarify the differences in attitudes and practices in the two countries.

Methods: In total, twenty-nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with family physicians representing the county councils of Stockholm and Dalarna in Sweden, and the Bassett Healthcare Network, Upstate New York, U. S. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results/Conclusions: Preliminary results show that the majority of the informants in both countries believe that addressing lifestyle issues is important and a natural part of their work. However, the study indicates that the U.S. physicians to a higher extent work in a more systematic way with risk factor management and routinely ask about lifestyle habits as part of existing work processes. They also expressed to a higher extent that they themselves, despite lack of time, must engage in lifestyle counseling, due to limited access to collegial support and referral services. The Swedish doctors, on the other hand, are able to limit their own role and responsibility due to support from other professions in the health care center/access to referral services.

Key messages:

  • This study provide insight into how Swedish and U.S family physicians view the role of behavioral risk factor management in their clinical practice.
  • Understanding professionals ‘take’ on lifestyle interventions, is invaluable, as they serve on the ‘front line’ in the battle to improve health outcomes in both countries.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
OXFORD UNIV PRESS , 2017. Vol. 27, no suppl_3, p. 333-
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143078DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx189.078ISI: 000414389803186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143078DiVA, id: diva2:1166534
Conference
10th European Public Health Conference Sustaining resilient and healthy communities Stockholm, Sweden 1–4 November 2017
Available from: 2017-12-15 Created: 2017-12-15 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, HeleneWeinehall, Lars

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