Exploring the Range of Lifestyle Interventions Used in Dutch Health Care Practice: A Qualitative Description

Irene M. van de Glind*, Maud M. Heinen, Wytske W. Geense, Ilse Mesters, Michel Wensing, Theo van Achterberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background. The application of evidence-based lifestyle interventions is suboptimal, but little is known what interventions are actually used. This study aimed to explore the range of lifestyle interventions used in Dutch ambulatory health care settings. Method. We conducted interviews (n = 67) in purposefully selected hospitals, general practices, and community care organizations. Interviews focused on identifying activities to help patients stop smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, increase physical activity, eat a healthy diet, and lose weight. We also asked who developed the interventions. All reported activities were registered and analyzed. Results. Four categories of health promotion activities emerged: giving advice, making referrals, offering counseling, and providing lifestyle interventions organized separately from the care process. In total, 102 lifestyle interventions were reported. Forty-five interventions were developed by researchers, of which 30 were developed by the Dutch Expert Center on Tobacco Control. Providers did not know the source of 31 interventions. Eighteen interventions were developed by the providers themselves, and eight were based on evidence-based guidelines. Conclusions. Health promotion activities seemed to be widely present in Dutch health care, in particular smoking cessation interventions. Although health care providers use many different interventions, replacing nontested for evidencebased interventions is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-243
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • lifestyle
  • health promotion
  • dissemination
  • implementation
  • health care providers

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