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How much influence do nurses have over their patients’ lifestyle decisions?

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McKenzie K (2014) Nurses’ intentions to give lifestyle support. Nursing Times; 110: 26, 20-22.



Models of behaviour change can help identify factors that influence health behaviours such as eating a healthy diet and physical activity. The Theory of Planned Behaviour has been shown to be relatively effective at predicting people’s intention to engage in health-related behaviours.

More recent research has explored whether it can help predict the intentions of one group of people to support another group to engage in healthy behaviour. This has implications for nurses, who are often facilitators of patient health. This article gives an overview of the model and discusses its potential implications for nurses.


Let’s discuss…

  • How much influence do nurses have over their patients’ lifestyle decisions?
  • Do patients expect nurses to offer advice on health behaviours, such as diet and physical activity?
  • Do you feel comfortable starting these conversations?
  • Comments (1)

Readers' comments (1)

  • Every person is different with different expectations and views, but we can't not offer advise or help because the patients might not like it.
    Communication is THE major skill in nursing and if you try to start a conversation and gage the response you will then know how much advice and help you will be allowed to give, or whether to try again next time or make a referral to a more specialist professional depending on the scale of the problem.

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