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Very brief interventions

Even very brief interventions in primary care can make a difference to patients changing their behaviour and adopting healthier lifestyles. 

NICE defines a very brief intervention in the following way:

A very brief intervention can take from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. It is mainly about giving people information, or directing them where to go for further help. It may also include other activities such as raising awareness of risks, or providing encouragement and support for change. It follows an 'ask, advise, assist' structure. 

Behaviour change: individual approaches (PH49).

Key NICE resources on very brief interventions are:

Brief intervention

The ‘Let’s Talk About Weight’ tools - provide a step by step guide to conversations on weight management:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-weight-management-a-guide-to-brief-interventions

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Brief intervention

Alcohol use screening tests, including which test to use when:

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Brief intervention

National Centre for smoking cessation and training recommends:

  • Assess current smoking (ASK)
  • Provide information on consequences of smoking (ADVISE)
  • Provide options for support (ASSIST)

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Brief intervention

  1. Pick a condition. There are 10 toolkits, each tailored for specific conditions: 
    Cancer, COPD, Dementia, Depression, Falls and Frailty, Inflammatory Rheumatic Disease, Ischaemic Heart Disease, Musculoskeletal pain, Disease prevention and Type 2 Diabetes
  2. Choose by how much time you’ve got. Each toolkit is made up of 4 elements:
    (i) The 1 minute conversation
    (ii) The 5 minutes conversation
    (iii) More minutes conversation
    (iv) Information for Patients
  3. Prescribe movement. Within each conversation, you will find:
    » Step-by-step guides
    » Insights into behaviour change and how it works
    » Research and evidence behind the conversations: click on the information icons to find out more.

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Brief intervention

NICE guidance on common mental health problems

Consider asking people who may have depression two questions, specifically:

  • During the last month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?
  • During the last month, have you often been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?

If a person answers 'yes' to either of the above questions consider depression and follow the recommendations for assessment.

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02/04/2019