Formula to Change Poor Health Behaviors

omag_200701_potato_chip-949x534In the past there have been remarkable advances in curing acute illnesses. This has lead to prolonged life expectancy. From the perspective of health care capabilities we should be heather than ever before. Yet there are signs that young adults today may be the first generation in modern history to be less healthy than their parents. Respiratory diseases and cancers, diabetes and obesity, heart and liver disease and some psychological problems are largely preventable or controlled through health behavior change. What can be done to get someone to change their behavior? One method is motivational interviewing by a health coach or medical professional.

There are four guiding principles:

  1. to resist the righting reflex
  2. to understand and explore the patient’s own motivations
  3. to listen with empathy
  4. to empower the patient, encouraging hope and optimism

These for principles can be remembered by the acronym RULE: Resist, Understand, Listen, Empower.

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