A Heart Healthy Toolbox: How-to Guide

How to use the toolbox

Take the following steps to help your patients make heart healthy lifestyle changes:

Step 1. Read the Professional Resource,
Successful Strategies for Behavior Change. This brief review of the scientific literature summarizes successful interventions to promote behavior change, including healthy eating and physical activity.

Step 2.  Use the “My Healthy Life Check Up” patient assessment
tool to better understand your patient’s current habits as well as their interest in making change. This tool is intended to be filled out by the patient as they wait for an appointment.

Step 3. Review the Motivational Interviewing Strategies
tool and apply these techniques as you discuss the patient’s responses to “My Healthy Life Check-Up.” This discussion may serve as a basis for goal setting and prioritizing.

Step 4. Use the Smart Goals worksheet
to help patients establish goals that are realistic and short term. Provide patients with appropriate resources from the Toolbox that will support them in their efforts to making healthy changes. For example, if their goal is to become more active but they have limited time, give them the Move More, Sit Less tool.

Step 5. Follow up
. Plan a follow-up visit. It is best if the initial follow-up is within a few weeks. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this, consider a short-term follow-up by phone or e-mail or refer them to a team member (dietitian or exercise physiologist) for additional support. Additional tools may be provided at these follow-up visits in order to meet ongoing needs and challenges.