Patients' experience of a nurse-led lifestyle clinic at a Swedish health centre

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Abstract

Background:

In Sweden, 56% of the population aged 16–84 have an unhealthy lifestyle. The primary health care (PHC) has been instructed to offer citizens health promotion and disease-preventive actions. Very few studies have been conducted about how individuals experience interventions from the PHC intended to help them to change lifestyle.

Aim:

The purpose of the study was to explore patients' experiences of visiting a nurse-led lifestyle clinic.

Methods:

Patients (n = 137), who participated in a screening test at a lifestyle clinic, were invited to focus group interviews. Of these, 14 patients agreed to participate. The data were analysed using content analysis.

Results:

The patients felt that the visit to the lifestyle clinic gave insight into their habits and diminished their fear of not being healthy. Primary health care was seen as a safe provider in this matter. Disappointment was occasioned by the unfulfilled expectations of blood tests, lack of follow-up visit and inconsistencies of approach during the visit to the lifestyle clinic. Personal chemistry was perceived to be crucial for how the encounter with the public health nurse evolved.

Conclusion:

Lifestyle clinics can give patients opportunity to change lifestyle and also to confirm the good habits. It may also be important to have follow-up visits to give the patients' support when changing lifestyle. Nurses counselling patients about lifestyle changes need to have recurrent training in Motivational Interviewing.

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