There are two standards that emphasise the role of osteopaths in promoting health and wellbeing.
C6. You must be aware of your wider role as a healthcare professional to contribute to enhancing the health and wellbeing of your patients.
A5. You must support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their own health and wellbeing.
There are some areas of controversy in relation to public health, not least the arguments surrounding vaccination. I’m not going to address these areas but take a positive approach to considering areas of health and wellbeing promotion that osteopaths can be involved in.
Making every contact count
The government produced a document called Making Every Contact Count. This was aimed at encouraging medical practitioners to make the most of patient encounters to promote general health and well-being. Around 40% of the UK’s disability adjusted life years lost are attributable to tobacco, hypertension, alcohol, being overweight or being physically inactive. Making changes such as stopping smoking, improving diet, increasing physical activity, losing weight and reducing alcohol consumption can help people to reduce their risk of poor health significantly.
Live Well and One You
The NHS has two main aspects to health and wellbeing improvement on its website – Live Well and One You. There is lots of information about eating well, mental wellbeing, move well, stopping smoking, sleeping well, alcohol intake. Live well also has access to exercise videos for patients. One You provides questionnaires to assess health. It has lots of practical helps such as recipes and directs to programmes like Couch to 5K, active 10.
The iO promotes health awareness weeks and has produced some general health improvement leaflets. Osteopaths can play an active role in osteoporosis awareness weeks, back care weeks, and pain education.
How do you promote health and wellbeing?
Promoting health and wellbeing is an important role that osteopaths can play in the improvement of individual and community well-being. What resources do you use? How do you promote health and wellbeing in your community?