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March 23, 1984

Promotion of Good Health

Author Affiliations

Worland, Wyo

JAMA. 1984;251(12):1554. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340360022015

To the Editor.—  In their commentary entitled "Why Not Share the Secrets of Good Health?" Drs Dismuke and Miller1 focus on "health promotion by physicians." However, they offer no clear definition of health and, from my vantage point, do not seem to be discussing health but rather reduction and avoidance of disease, dysfunction, and premature decay.I believe that "health" promotion is an important function of primary medical practitioners and that it includes the promotion of (1) physical fitness, (2) satisfaction with self, and (3) the pursuit of reasonable self-chosen goals.The "tools" required for such efforts are primary care medical skills for disease detection and "health" hazard appraisal, adequate listening skills (or an affiliation with a counselor), and the ability to facilitate life-style modification, especially with regard to diet, exercise, and the management of stress.Although these comments are unquantitated, a recent study published in JAMA2,3 seems

Dismuke SE, Miller ST:  Why not share the secrets of good health? The physician's role in health promotion .  JAMA 1983;249:3181-3183.Crossref
Nelson EN, Conger B, Douglass R, et al:  Functional health status levels of primary care patients .  JAMA 1983;249:3331-3338.Crossref
Chambers LW:  Physical and emotional function of primary care patients: Scientific requirements for the measurement of functional health status .  JAMA 1983; 249:3353-3355.Crossref