Table 4.6

Summary: primary prevention

  • Primary prevention should reduce the impact of risk factors on individuals and populations with a view to preventing premature disease

  • The most effective programmes in the community focus on discouraging smoking, promoting healthy eating, and increasing everyday physical activity

  • The priorities in primary care are to detect and control cases of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and to help patients give up smoking

  • Changing people‚Äôs behaviour is not easy and primary care staff will need appropriate training and the support of community based specialists such as dieticians. The effectiveness of interventions in the community and primary care is often difficult to assess

  • Specialist hospital staff may increasingly be called upon to support primary prevention in the community and general practice