Community Interventions for Health can support clinicians in advising patients to reduce tobacco use, improve dietary intake and increase physical activity.
Anthony D., Dyson PA., Lv J., Thankappan KR., Champgane B., Matthews DR.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To increase clinical interventions to reduce modifiable risk factors for noncommunicable disease in low- and middle-income countries. BACKGROUND: Noncommunicable disease is the leading cause of death in the world and is common in low- and middle-income countries. Risk factors for noncommunicable disease are modifiable and health professionals are in an unique position to intervene and influence them. DESIGN: Clinical interventions were used as part of the Community Interventions for Health programme, a nonrandomised, controlled study undertaken in three communities - one each in China, India and Mexico. METHODS: All clinicians in intervention and control areas of the study were invited to complete surveys. A total of 2280 completed surveys at baseline and 2501 at follow-up. Culturally appropriate interventions to reduce tobacco use, improve dietary intake and increase physical activity were delivered in the intervention areas. RESULTS: Clinicians in the intervention group felt more prepared to advise smoking cessation and improvement of diet. They were more likely to test serum cholesterol and blood pressure, but less likely to take measurements of height, hip, waist and skin-fold thickness. There were more resources available to clinicians in the intervention group and they used counselling more and complementary medicine less than those in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Community interventions which have been shown to have a positive effect in the community and workplace also change clinical practice. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Community interventions make clinicians, including nurses, more likely to feel prepared to offer advice and more likely to use counselling. This would be expected to reduce risk factors in patients.