Lifestyle And Health Practices Guidelines

Lifestyle And Health Practices Guidelines

Lifestyle And Health Practices Guidelines

This assignment is to help you gain insight regarding the influence of an individual’s lifestyle and health-related practices, on their opportunities for health promotion. You are to obtain a lifestyle and health practices profile using yourself as the client, and then practice analyzing the data to formulate a health promotion nursing diagnosis


Physicians, nurses, and community health workers (CHWs) in Brazil are responsible for managing a plethora of patient health conditions by providing appropriate health promoting recommendations. However, prior research in Latin America and the United States indicates that health professionals are not adequately following health promotion guidelines as it pertains to their own health behaviors [1–3]. It is critical for health professionals to engage in healthy behaviors, including accumulating 150 min per week of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity, eating a low risk diet (high in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds), sleeping at least 8 h a day, maintaining low levels of stress, avoiding smoking, and limiting consumption of alcohol, since those behaviors reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and promote well-being [4]. In addition, it has been shown that when health professionals engage in healthy behaviors they are more likely to provide preventive counseling to their patients [1, 2, 5–7]. Professionals reporting healthy behaviors have higher self-efficacy and confidence when motivating patients to avoid health risk behaviors [1, 2, 5, 7].

Despite documented benefits of the regular practice of physical activity, eating fruits and vegetables, and maintaining a healthy weight, more than 50 % of the adult population of Brazil is overweight, and 60 % do not practice physical activity during leisure time or consume fruits and vegetables regularly [8–11]. In spite of the large amount of information about the effective health benefits of physical activity prescribed by physicians, rates of exercise counseling remain low [1, 11].

A limited amount of research is found in Latin America that examines health professionals’ life style and health behaviors. For instance, a study conducted in Bogota, Colombia, focused on medical students’ health practices but offered no data on the health behaviors of practicing health professionals [12]. However, there is one comprehensive literature review conducted in Africa which focused on the personal physical inactivity and the patient counseling practices among medical doctors [13]. The review targeted individual participation in physical activity and readiness to improve personal health. Another aspect focused on the credibility of the doctors’ counseling and whether they can then disclose personal health practices to patients. It also indicated that physicians’ knowledge on designing an exercise program with the recommended frequencies affected their ability to counsel patients on physical activity [14].

The Brazilian Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde; SUS) can potentially take a primary role in implementing evidence based trainings for health care professionals on effective ways to counsel their patients on healthy behaviors and, at the same time, promote uptake of healthy lifestyles among health professionals. Specifically, SUS uses primary health care settings as the first step toward providing prevention and treatment [15]. Additionally, CHWs are an integral part of Brazil’s Unified Health System, meant to provide care funded by taxes to all citizens [16]. The Brazilian goverment also has a strategic plan to tackle the rising rates of NCDs. Thus, it is crucial to place emphasis on the role of health professionals working in primary health care units providing care to around 60 % of the Brazilian population [17].

The purpose of this study is to determine the health promotion practices and personal lifestyle behaviors of health professionals (physicians, nurses, and CHWs) working at primary care units in the Brazilian SUS system. It is hoped that results from this study will increase awareness and help design interventions to improve health professionals’ own lifestyle and health promoting behaviors. The main descriptive research questions include:

  1. 1)What percentage of health professionals reported getting at least 8 h of sleep, consuming alcohol within the past month, being physically inactive, and/or watching 4 or more hours of television per day?
  2. 2)What percentage of health professionals eat the recommended 5 or more portions of fruits and/or vegetables per day?
  3. 3)What percentage of health professionals reported being former or current smokers?
  4. 4)How did physicians, nurses, and CHWs perceive their level of preparedness to discuss preventive counseling on five different health topics (nutrition, exercise, weight control, breast cancer, and cervical cancer)?
  5. 5)What percentage of nurses vs. physicians recommended that their patients incorporate a healthy diet, practice physical activity, avoid smoking, control alcohol intake, and take medications properly?


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