Lifescripts provide a tool to assist general practitioners in addressing lifestyle risk factors with patients, including the SNAP risk factors of smoking, nutrition, alcohol and physical activity as well as weight management.
Lifestyle risk factors are common among patients seen by general practice. Of adult patients attending a general practice in 2002-2003:1
- 54.7% were overweight or obese
- 17.2% were daily smokers, 4.1% occasional smokers, and 27.2% previous smokers
- 26.2% drank ‘at-risk’ levels of alcohol
The Lifescripts Resources aim to make it easier for GPs and their practices to manage lifestyle risk factors by providing a framework for:
- raising and discussing lifestyle risk factors with patients;
- providing advice in the form of a written script and associated patient education; and
- referring to other providers to support healthy lifestyle.
Lifescripts resource kits provide practices with risk factor assessment tools, guidelines, lifestyle prescription pads, an educational CD Rom on motivational interviewing techniques and materials to assist in implementing Lifescripts into the practice.
The lifestyle prescriptions resemble normal pharmaceutical prescriptions but provide lifestyle advice and can be tailored to each patient’s needs. The scripts can also be used to refer patients to other services, to further support healthy lifestyle choices.
Practices can decide the best way to implement the Lifescripts resources but this may include opportunistic discussions with patients or a more structured approach. Lifescripts can also be used to provide lifestyle advice to address risk factors identified from health checks such as the 45-49 year old health check.
Lifescripts resource kits are available from the Division. For further information contact Gemma Butler at the Division on 81121100.
1. Harris M (Ed), 2004, Smoking, nutrition, alcohol and physical activity (SNAP). A population health guide to behavioural risk factors in general practice, RACGP, Melbourne