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Doctors are starting to give patients ‘social prescriptions’

Doctors are starting to give patients ‘social prescriptions’

Instead of telling patients to just eat better, exercise and socialize, health-care professionals are dolling out prescriptions with specific instructions.

By Ranit Mishori The Washington Post

About a decade ago, a colleague told me about a cool new initiative, something called “Exercise Is Medicine.” The idea made total sense to me: Rather than just tell my patients about exercising, I would hand them an actual prescription for exercise, just like the ones I give patients for high blood pressure or diabetes. The thinking behind it was that an official “doctor’s order” for exercise, in the form of a prescription-pad-style piece of paper, would be taken more seriously by patients than a mere suggestion.

I quickly started giving out these prescriptions, going so far as to find some official-looking templates online and printing them out. I wrote out “dosages” based on each patient’s age and medical condition, and relying on evidence-based recommendations.

For example, for a person with diabetes, I might write a prescription that says:

  • Frequency: At least 3-4 days a week.
  • Intensity: Exercise at a moderate level.

Source: — Read: Original Article

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