Incorporating health promotion into history taking
- By: Brian R W McMillan
Before becoming a medical student I worked as a health psychologist. This involved trying to explain what motivates the behaviours associated with health and illness. Medical training has steered me towards diagnosis and treatment, but perhaps there is room for more communication between these two disciplines.
When taking histories many doctors do not routinely ask patients if they have considered a change in a behaviour that may play a part in their current illness and future health. Is this because we do not feel it is our role or because we do not have time? Perhaps we need to seem non-judgmental to ensure that we are obtaining accurate information. Constraints placed upon health professionals, especially in developing countries, may push health promotion down the list of priorities, but it is surely worth considering if time and resources allow.
Behaviour plays a key role in many of the leading causes of