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Can J Diet Pract Res. 2006 Autumn;Suppl:S39-46.

Promoting healthy lifestyles in Ontario Family Health Networks.

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  • 1Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Primary health care reform presents new opportunities for registered dietitians (RDs) to contribute to health promotion and disease prevention in family practices. Since this is an emerging area of RD practice, a health promotion specialist was contracted to conduct a needs assessment and develop a plan for implementing nutrition-focused healthy lifestyle activities.

METHODS:

The needs assessment was conducted as part of an Ontario-based demonstration project in three Family Health Networks (FHNs).

RESULTS:

The needs assessment revealed a lack of agreement about what types of activities should be undertaken, a lack of information on the population's needs, a lack of coordination with other agencies in the community, and barriers of time and resources. The health promotion specialist recommended that health care team members in each FHN develop a shared understanding of their goals, and undertake the entire planning and evaluation cycle. Specific strategies were suggested to increase awareness, to provide health education, and to improve environmental support.

CONCLUSIONS:

A significant need exists for conceptual development, planning, testing, and evaluation of disease prevention and health promotion in family physician-based primary health care organizations. The findings may be useful to others interested in increasing the focus on health promotion and disease prevention in such practices.

PMID:
17020642
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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