Referring your patients to the Get Healthy Service has numerous benefits:
- It is an effective service that can complement patient care provided by GPs and other health professionals.
- Participants who completed the 6 month program on average:
- lost 3.8kg
- 5.1cm off their waist
- An increase in the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed daily
- A decrease in the amount of take away meals consumed per week
- A decrease in the amount of sweetened drinks consumed daily, such as soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices
- An increase in physical activity levels
- Focus on prevention & early intervention;
- Retention of participants is greater when referred by a GP or health professional
- GPs and health professionals are well placed to reach those in the community who are most at need of the assistance that the GHS can offer, both in terms of their socio-demographic and risk factor profile.
Download the 'NSW Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service: The First Five Years 2009 - 2013' (5.7 MB) evaluation report for more information.
12 MONTH FOLLOW UP STUDY
A 6-month follow up study (6 months after completing coaching and 12 months from baseline) showed that anthropometric improvements made at the completion of the coaching program were maintained for a further 6 months (12 months from baseline). These include:
- Significant decreases in weight
- Significant improvements in waist circumference
- Significant decreases in Body Mass Index
- Increased fruit consumption
- Participants referred by health professionals (including GPs) are more likely to complete the 6 month coaching program than those who are self-referred.
- A greater proportion of coaching participants referred by a GP was classified as obese (76.6%) and had a greatly increased waist circumference risk (88.6%) than those who are self-referred.
- 78.7% of participants referred by a health professional were from the lowest two quintiles of advantage.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONAL REFERRALS
A study examining the profile of Get Healthy Service participants (who had completed the program) has shown some important differences in relation to the socio-demographic and risk factors based on their “source of referral”:
These findings emphasise the important role that GPs and other health practitioners have in referring clients to the GHS. Furthermore it was noted that GPs and other Health Professionals can target those in the community who are most at need of the assistance that the Get Healthy Service can offer, both in terms of a client’s socio-demographic profile and their risk factor profile.