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Table 2 Intervention components associated wit modification of lifestyle behaviours in primary care setting

From: Is integration of healthy lifestyle promotion into primary care feasible? Discussion and consensus sessions between clinicians and researchers

Physical activity

Combining advice from the family physician with behavioural interventions such as: goal-setting for the patient, written prescriptions and physical activity regimens adapted to the individual, multiple follow-up contacts by telephone or mail, performed by trained staff, linking or referring to physical activity resources in the community or to exercise programs.


Combining advice from the family physician with assistance systems at the primary care centre such as advice algorithms, warning or reminding mechanisms, interactive communication media (tailored emails, telephone advice) and group interventions. At the patient level, goal-setting, provision of feedback and behavioural reinforcement, education on nutrition and diet, support materials such as food acquisition and preparation guides, self-monitoring techniques, training to overcome barriers in healthy food selection, social support networks or resources.


Counselling or therapeutic interventions for motivated patients related to problem solving, skills training, relapse prevention, stress management, multiple follow-up contacts and intervention in the smoker's environment to increase social support and enhance the effect of brief counselling. For those who have ceased smoking, relapse prevention strategies. For patients unprepared or with no intention to change, counselling and intensive motivational interventions are recommended.


Combining therapeutic counselling by the family physician with multiple contacts, feedback, goal-setting, support at system level, particularly with regard to initial patient evaluation, and in some cases reminder or warning systems, provision of support materials. Motivational interviewing for alcohol dependents.

Multiple risk behaviours*

Evaluation of patient characteristics and needs and subsequent adaptation of intervention elements based on the evaluation, interactive education and skills promotion, self-monitoring, goal-setting, barrier identification and problem solving, use of multidisciplinary teams or nursing-based schemes and support systems in the centres such as reminder systems facilitating identification and multiple follow-up contacts.

  1. * Based on the findings in secondary prevention studies, which may be generalised to the primary care context.