It has been seen that health care providers tend to become biased against overweight people and deliver lesser interventions for disease prevention (Quinn et al. , 2012). This attitude should be shunned. Instead, the patient should be counselled with conviction and offered advice that will lower his risk of the abovementioned diseases. The risk factors for these diseases and any of the ‘red flags’ that are detected in his medical history should be explained to the patient; physical examination and investigations should be highlighted. These may include the history of chronic lifestyle disease such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, cardiac disease and stroke in the family, presence of increased weight, abdominal girth and blood pressure on physical examination, presence of high blood glucose, serum cholesterol and lipids on blood tests and impaired lung function tests on spirometry.
If significant risk factors are present, an ECG and exercise testing should be performed (Fenner, 2011). The message should be delivered in the way that the patient finds easy to follow, and complex medical terms should be avoided. Discussion should be united with questioning and physical examination.
Also, figures, numbers and statistics should be used (Fenner, 2011). Age appropriate screening tests should be advised. The whole aim of this exercise is to make the patient aware of the potential health implications of his current lifestyle habits. Once that is done, the next aim is to tell the patient what can be done to lower his risks and achieve a healthier self and how the patient has his health in his own hands. Health care providers can play an important role in prevention and decreasing the prevalence of smoking (Awad, & O’Loughlin, 2007).
The recommended approach involves 5 As: ask, assess, advise, assist and arrange (Awad, & O’Loughlin, 2007). As far as smoking is concerned, the patient is asked about his willingness to quit the habit and whether any previous attempts to quit have been made. The patient is assured about the fact that it is indeed possible to give up this addiction and quitting is associated with multiple benefits. Also, the fact of previous quit attempts has been associated with subsequently higher chances of a successful long-term or permanent quit.
Both quit techniques of ‘cold turkey’ and gradual reduction are explained. Patient should be informed about ‘quit smoking’ clinics or counselling groups operating in that area and encouraged to join them.
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