A short piece about how difficult it is for us to change behaviours, and how sometimes only a shock to the system makes it work (although the anti-smoking campaigns have highlighted some successful regulatory approaches). Quote:
Health care providers and the systems they work within need to find ways to create incentives to make it “easy” to choose healthier behaviors–increasing insurance premium rebates for maintaining healthy weight or non-smoking status, encouraging free preventive screening that significantly impacts quality and length of life, emphasizing positive change with a flood of encouraging words.
When there is discomfort inflicted by unhealthy lifestyle choices, that misery should not be glossed over by the physician– not avoided, dismissed or forgotten. It needs emphasis that is gently emphatic yet compassionate– using words that say “I know you can do better and now you know too. How can I help you turn this around?”
Sometimes both physicians and patients learn the hard way. We need to come along beside one another to help absorb the shock.