Prevention Building on routine clinical practice

Document Type

Journal Article


The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners


Computing, Health and Science


Computing, Health and Science




Originally published as: Sim, M. G., & Khong, E. (2006). Prevention: Building on routine clinical practice. Australian family physician, 35(1-2), 12. Original available here


BACKGROUND: The role of general practice in preventing disease and promoting health is strongly supported by research and health policies. OBJECTIVE: This article examines the role of general practitioners in illness prevention and health promotion activities. DISCUSSION: Despite time and other barriers, such as competing priorities, to the implementation of preventive activities, prevention is part of routine general practice. In providing care for the whole person over a long period of time prevention and treatment are not separate entities and the line between these are necessarily blurred. From a pragmatic point of view, if a practice is to increase its activity in prevention there needs to be a driver that makes this happen and strategies to suit the structure of the individual practice. Introducing small interventions and making use of the practice team is a good place to start in a range of health promotion activities including opportunistic education, brief interventions for patients with disease risk factors, and specific interventions for a known disease. (author abstract)