Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Modelling innovative interventions for optimising healthy lifestyle promotion in primary health care: "Prescribe Vida Saludable" phase I research protocol

Alvaro Sanchez1*, Gonzalo Grandes1, Josep M Cortada2, Haizea Pombo1, Laura Balague3 and Carlos Calderon4

Author Affiliations

1 Primary Care Research Unit of Bizkaia, Basque Health Service (Osakidetza), Bilbao, Spain

2 Deusto Health Centre, Basque Health Service (Osakidetza), Bilbao, Spain

3 Renteria Health Centre, Basque Health Service (Osakidetza), Renteria, Spain

4 Alza Health Centre, Basque Health Service (Osakidetza), Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain

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BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:103  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-103

Published: 18 June 2009



The adoption of a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity, a balanced diet, a moderate alcohol consumption and abstinence from smoking, are associated with large decreases in the incidence and mortality rates for the most common chronic diseases. That is why primary health care (PHC) services are trying, so far with less success than desirable, to promote healthy lifestyles among patients. The objective of this study is to design and model, under a participative collaboration framework between clinicians and researchers, interventions that are feasible and sustainable for the promotion of healthy lifestyles in PHC.

Methods and design

Phase I formative research and a quasi-experimental evaluation of the modelling and planning process will be undertaken in eight primary care centres (PCCs) of the Basque Health Service – OSAKIDETZA, of which four centres will be assigned for convenience to the Intervention Group (the others being Controls). Twelve structured study, discussion and consensus sessions supported by reviews of the literature and relevant documents, will be undertaken throughout 12 months. The first four sessions, including a descriptive strategic needs assessment, will lead to the prioritisation of a health promotion aim in each centre. In the remaining eight sessions, collaborative design of intervention strategies, on the basis of a planning process and pilot trials, will be carried out. The impact of the formative process on the practice of healthy lifestyle promotion, attitude towards health promotion and other factors associated with the optimisation of preventive clinical practice will be assessed, through pre- and post-programme evaluations and comparisons of the indicators measured in professionals from the centres assigned to the Intervention or Control Groups.


There are four necessary factors for the outcome to be successful and result in important changes: (1) the commitment of professional and community partners who are involved; (2) their competence for change; (3) the active cooperation and participation of the interdisciplinary partners involved throughout the process of change; and (4) the availability of resources necessary to facilitate the change.