The limits to health promotion: they lie in individuals' readiness to change
From: British Medical Journal(Vol. 309, Issue 6960)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Document Type: Editorial
Length: 1,751 words
Health promotion schemes should focus on both the individual's readiness to change and the context in which change will occur. Because of this, government and health professionals should work together to encourage health-related behavioral changes when a patient appears motivated to change. Recent research suggests that a patient's motivation plays an important role in determining whether health promotion schemes are successful. Practitioners who are sensitive to their patients' motivations and readiness will be more successful in encouraging them to change. Too often, the government sets targets for general practitioners while neglecting to account for a patient's attitude toward change. The government should focus on providing easy access to medical care coupled with providing funding for local resources that encourage health-related behavior changes.