Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D., of the Institute of Medicine, Washington, D.C., examines a number of the reasons that disease prevention in clinical medicine and public health is often resisted.
And suggests and discusses the following strategies for overcoming these obstacles:
(1) Pay for preventive services. (2) Make prevention financially rewarding for individuals and families. (3) Involve employers to promote health in the workplace and provide incentives to employees to maintain healthy practices. (4) Reengineer products and systems to make prevention simpler, lower in cost, and less dependent on individual action. (5) Use policy to reinforce choices that favor prevention. (6) Use multiple media channels to educate, elicit health-promoting behavior, and strengthen healthy habits.
"The health care community cannot expect an overnight transformation; preventive messages must be repeated across many forms of media and entertainment to become solidified over time as cultural norms. Success will require a sustained effort from individuals and families in their daily lives; from physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals; from cultural, entertainment and sports celebrities; from employers and insurers; from political, civic, and business leaders; from public agencies at all levels; and from philanthropies. In the end, prevention is truly worth the investment to make a difficult sell just a little easier and to put everyone on the road to a healthier future," Dr. Fineberg concludes.
(JAMA. 2013;310:85-90. Available pre-embargo to the media at http://media.jamanetwork.com)