GP letters lead to lifestyle change

A simple letter asking patients to modify their unhealthy lifestyle can have a long-lasting beneficial impact – if it comes on a GP letterhead, Australian research has shown.

University of Queensland researchers found that sending patients a computer-generated letter based on their responses to a health questionnaire had a significant and enduring effect on multiple risk factors such as diet and alcohol intake.

One year after receiving the letter, patients continued to show improvements in health behaviours such as eating more fruit, vegetables and fish and