Advertisement
Feature Article

What’s the buzz around ‘lifestyle medicine’?

Garry Egger, HAMISH MELDRUM, Stephen Penman
OPEN ACCESS

Community referrals 

Lifestyle medicine-related chronic disease patients can also benefit from referrals to programs and services in the community that are either broadly or narrowly related to their issues. An example of this is Act-Belong-Commit (ABC), which is a community mental health initiative developed in Western Australia.22 A list of community services is combined with a screening process to enable referral from lifestyle medicine practitioners, either through shared medical appointments or in standard consultations. Referrals can be to professional internet sites, such as www.blackdoginstitute.org.au or www.beyondblue.org.au for depression, or in the form of a ‘green prescription’ for physical activity like that developed in New Zealand.23

Summary

Is the buzz around lifestyle medicine justified? Irrespective of the answer, there is an obvious need for a range of new approaches to standard clinical and public health practice to help manage the new wave of chronic diseases that appear inevitable with economic development. Although not a major departure from conventional practice, lifestyle medicine reframes the debate, bridges clinical practice and public health in a multisystem approach. It also aims to provide the knowledge, skills, tools and procedures as a vital addition to current practice. As shown in Table 1, the field is too broad to be dealt with by one profession alone and requires a new approach to clinical teamwork involving several levels of medicine and allied health.  MT

Advertisement
Advertisement

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

COMPETING INTERESTS: Professor Egger: None. Dr Meldrum is the Director and Founder of OCHRE health centres in Australia. Mr Penman: None.
 

Pages

Dr Egger is an Adjunct Professor of Health Sciences at Southern Cross University; and the Principal of the Centre for Health Promotion and Research in Sydney. He is also Vice President of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM) in Sydney. Dr Meldrum is a GP and President of the ASLM. Stephen Penman is Executive Director of the ASLM, Sydney, NSW.