Given that many conditions are preventable, every health care interaction should include prevention support. When patients are systematically provided with information and skills to reduce health risks, they are more likely to reduce substance use, to stop using tobacco products, to practice safe sex, to eat healthy foods, and to engage in physical activity.
These risk reducing behaviours can dramatically reduce the long-term burden and health care demands of chronic conditions. To promote prevention in health care, awareness raising is crucial to promote a change in thinking and to stimulate the commitment and action of patients and families, health care teams, communities, and policy-makers.
A collaborative management approach at the primary health care level with patients, their families and other health care actors is a must to effectively prevent many major contributors to the burden of disease.