23 Aug How to motivate the patient to change lifestyle habits?
Patients constitute themselves the greatest obstacle to their health. It is the task of doctors to try new communication techniques to stimulate their patients to carry out meaningful and lasting habits for the benefit of their health.
Steps to motivate the patient to change lifestyle habits
In practice, medical attempts to achieve changes in the health habits of their patients through advice and teaching do not yield the desired results. And since doctors are those who have the specific knowledge of diseases, how to diagnose them, how to apply treatments to fight against them, they are called to create new forms of communication that stimulate and encourage patients to change the course of health, inviting them to prevent rather than wait for illness to occur as a result of their poor health habits.
It is not about talking but about collaborating
When communication is established with the patient by asking direct and open questions while listening interested in the patient’s well-being, a good relationship is achieved that allows a better understanding of the reality that the patient lives. This allows a motivating effect that helps the doctor understand the difficulties that the patient faces in his daily life and assertively motivates him to modify his behaviors and habits about his health.
Create realistic goals
Patients become discouraged when a goal seems unattainable. Therefore, setting small and easy-to-reach goals is the key, since by having evidence that they are progressing, they are motivated to continue. In addition, with time, the complexity in establishing objectives can be increased, ensuring that these are relevant and of great importance for both the patient and the doctor, without losing sight of the fact that the objectives are easy to achieve.
Be constant in the positive attitude
Avoid making judgments or falling into confrontations with your patient, the perspective of his progress will become the best tool to motivate him to continue. In addition, maintaining a positive attitude can convey confidence. When the patient becomes discouraged, it is necessary to remind him of the goals achieved to motivate him again. Training as a means of motivation Training is essential when motivating a patient to implement changes in their lifestyle. It is necessary to recognize that knowledge provides the power to face and assume that changes are necessary for health to prevail. Having sufficient knowledge, prevention will become the primary element to maintain optimal health.
Patients embrace the changes in a lasting way, not when their doctors tell them what to do, but when they make the decision themselves that it is time to implement something different. However, doctors can push them to make decisions and help stick to the changes and make them permanent.
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