First performance standards published to measure the effectiveness of lifestyle medicine treatments.

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An expert panel has published the first performance measures to identify remission and evaluate the effectiveness of lifestyle medicine treatments, which will allow more objective comparisons between behavioral lifestyle interventions and other non-lifestyle treatments. the lifestyle.

Performance measures are significant because, as interest in the field of lifestyle medicine grew, it became clear that the lack of standards for documenting remission or long-term progress after treatment with lifestyle medicine life was a barrier to widespread integration of the practice in health. Be careful, said American College of Lifestyle Medicine founding president John Kelly, MD, MPH, DipABLM, FACLM, lead author of the paper published in American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Lifestyle medicine is a medical specialty that uses therapeutic lifestyle interventions as a primary modality to treat chronic conditions including, but not limited to, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Certified lifestyle medicine physicians are trained to apply prescriptive, comprehensive, evidence-based lifestyle changes to treat and, when used intensively, often reverse such conditions.

Applying the six pillars of lifestyle medicine (a whole-food, plant-based eating pattern, physical activity, restful sleep, stress management, positive social connections, and avoidance of risky substances) also provides a effective prevention for these conditions.

“Many clinical practice guidelines consider it important to address lifestyle behaviors in the treatment of chronic diseases, but without measurable performance standards, it was not possible to effectively assess progress or long-term outcomes for patients following interventions. of lifestyle medicine,” said Dr. Kelly.

“These new performance measures defined by the expert panel will help physicians embrace evidence-based lifestyle medicine by equipping them with the standards they need to measure the success of those treatments.”

The expert panel focused on 10 diseases, conditions or risk factors and proposes using results collected after three months of treatment with lifestyle medicine. Conditions included cardiac function, cardiac risk factors, cardiac medications and procedures, patient-centered cardiac health, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory conditions, patient-centered inflammatory measures, and chronic kidney disease. Patient-centered measures are metrics relevant to quality of life, such as quality of life or pain assessments.

For each disease, specific measures were chosen to demonstrate whether lifestyle medicine should be considered effective. For example, to measure the effectiveness of treating hypertension with lifestyle medications, the panel identified systolic and diastolic blood pressure three months after beginning lifestyle interventions to address poor diet and lack of of exercise. The panel also considered important the use of medications or procedures with known effects on hypertension. In the end, a consensus was reached on 32 performance measures.

The process to develop the performance measures made clear the need for a set of standards that show the effectiveness of lifestyle medicine, said Micaela Karlsen, Ph.D., MSPH, senior director of research at the American College of Medicine. of Lifestyle and last author of the article. paper.

“You wouldn’t expect a surgery, a procedure or a medication to be prescribed if there was no evidence that it worked,” Dr. Karlsen said. “Our hope is that these standards will be widely adopted by healthcare professionals.”

As the field of lifestyle medicine continues to grow, measurements will play an important role. The panel recommended that future work should use these measurements in collecting data in the electronic medical record (EMR) system to standardize the evaluation of the effectiveness and performance of lifestyle medication treatment.

More information:
John H. Kelly et al, Lifestyle Medicine Performance Measures: An Expert Consensus Statement Defining Metrics to Identify Remission or Long-Term Progress After Treatment with Lifestyle Medicine, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (2024). DOI: 10.1177/15598276241230237

Provided by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine

Citation: First published performance standards to measure the effectiveness of lifestyle medicine treatments (2024, March 28) retrieved March 28, 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-03-standards- published- Effectiveness-lifestyle-medicine.html

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