Archive for March 10th, 2008

How To Increase Compliance To Lifestyle Change…

March 10, 2008

Nowadays, physicians just dont have the time to talk with their patients. Patients feel shortchanged when they have been waiting outside our clinics only to be seen for 5 minutes. 

The lesson I’ve learned from my training at the Mayo Clinic was the importance of patient – doctor relationship that should go beyond treating a disease.  But more so to provide comfort to an anxious patient not knowing what she or he has and the need to listen and care!  The words of advise from a doctor’s mouth is more than worth their time in seeing you and these patients see us because they trust us to help them lead a better healthy life.

Now comes a new study that confirms my practice in my clinic published in the Archives of Internal Medicine this 2/2008.


Background  Our objective was to test the effect of physicians providing brief health lifestyle counseling to patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus during usual care visits.

Methods  We conducted a randomized controlled trial of a 12-month intervention at 2 large community health centers, enrolling 310 patients with a body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) of 25 or greater. In the intervention group, self-management goals for nutrition and physical activity were set using a tailored computer program. Goals were then reviewed at each clinic visit by physicians. The control group received only printed health education materials. The main outcome measures included change in physical activity and body weight.

Results  In the intervention group, recommended levels of physical activity increased from 26% at baseline to 53% at 12 months (P < .001) compared with controls (30% to 37%; P = .27), and 32% of patients in the intervention group lost 6 or more pounds at 12 months compared with 18.9% of controls (odds ratio, 2.2; P = .006).

Conclusion  A brief intervention to increase the dialogue between patients and health care providers about behavioral goals can lead to increased physical activity and weight loss.


This study confirms my belief and practice of spending more time with the patient in trying to help them understand how one can implement the standard of care in dealing with chronic diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.  If one understands the concept of why exercise and nutrition are important then the pressure is with the patient to comply otherwise he will suffer the consequences.

Compliance to medications and behavioral therapy is a must if one aims to reach the goal of preventing complications like stroke and heart attack!  I am always asked if I am successful with behavioral modification and in letting patient follow my dietary guidelines.  I guess I am because I spend time with them.

This has been my standing principle and guide in my practice and thus this website to help educate my patients and the public because I believe that….

“Understanding One’s Disease Is Key To Better Health”.