‘Teachable moments’

Het juiste moment voor leefstijlverandering
Michelle Brust, Winifred A. Gebhardt, Mattijs E. Numans en Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jong

Zorgverleners adviseren patiënten relatief weinig om hun leefstijl te verbeteren, omdat ze te weinig tijd hebben voor deze adviezen of twijfelen aan de effectiviteit ervan. Toch kunnen zorgprofessionals grote invloed hebben op het gedrag van hun patiënten door op het juiste moment de leefstijl van de patiënt te bespreken. Hoe pakken we dit aan?

Teachable moments: the right moment to make patients change their lifestyle

Healthcare professionals can play a significant role in the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases. Yet there is still relatively little attention to lifestyle counseling, partly because of limited available time and doubts about its effectiveness. During so-called ‘teachable moments’, patients may be more receptive towards lifestyle advices and more motivated to change their lifestyle. For example during pregnancy, disease diagnoses, abnormal test results or even the corona crisis, patients may suddenly face lifestyle change differently. In this paper, we provide guidelines to healthcare professionals regarding utilization of these situations. General practitioners or specialists can create a potential teachable moment by discussing risk perception, emotions and self-image with the patient. Subsequently, paramedics can encourage patients to change health behaviors by increasing their motivation, self-efficacy and lifestyle-related skills. Recognizing and making optimal use of potential teachable moments can contribute to desired behavior change of patients with relatively little time investment.

Conflict of interest and financial support: potential conflicts of interest have been reported for this article. ICMJE forms provided by the authors are available online along with the full text of this article.