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GENA731 Supporting Healthier Lifestyles: Core Principles

Evidence-based strategies and a patient-focused, self-efficacy approach to support patients in achieving changes in lifestyle behaviours.

The aim of GENA 731 is to consider the factors that contribute to the development of unhealthy lifestyle behaviour and the significant challenges that exist for individuals in making lifestyle behaviour changes. We know that prevention or modification of these lifestyle behaviours can reduce long-term conditions and, consequently, reduce morbidity and premature death. However, this is not simple, and in this paper we also consider a range of evidence-effective interpersonal and public health strategies.

Paper title Supporting Healthier Lifestyles: Core Principles
Paper code GENA731
Subject General Practice
EFTS 0.1250
Points 15 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2019 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,400.75
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,934.75

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GENX 712
Limited to
Includes a residential period.
Suitable for health, social and other professionals from a range of disciplines
Teaching staff
Eileen McKinlay and Dr Fiona Doolan-Noble
Paper Structure
Elective paper for the Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Health Care (PGCertPHC).
Elective paper for the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care (PGDipPHC).

The paper has five modules covering:
  • Development and prevalence of adverse lifestyle behaviours
  • Personal and population health promotion approaches that support lifestyle change/s
  • Values, beliefs and health literacy and their influence on lifestyles
  • Interventions that support behaviour change at an individual/community and national level
  • Current primary health care system influences on lifestyle behaviours
Teaching Arrangements

Two days of compulsory residential teaching in Wellington. Other teaching done via Blackboard and online videoconferencing.

Study Skills support is provided through automatic enrolment in the no-charge Study Skills Blackboard GENA700, which contains resources and technology support and is accompanied by monthly Zoom Study Skills videoconferences.

All resources available either via Blackboard or other online resources
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Please also refer to the Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice Graduate Profile.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successfully completing the paper students will be able to:
  • Apply the best available evidence arising from clinical and public health research regarding the development and prevalence of adverse lifestyle behaviours
  • Distinguish between personal and population health promotion approaches regarding lifestyle change and take appropriate action to use these
  • Define, describe and discuss how values, beliefs and health literacy influence individuals' and health professionals' understanding of healthier lifestyles
  • Describe the strengths and limitations of approaches that support individual behaviour change and formulate focused approaches on how and when to use these
  • Identify and analyse the policies and actions of the current primary health care system regarding the modification of adverse lifestyle behaviours
  • Effectively utilise the principles of interdisciplinary teamwork to support the adoption of healthier lifestyles

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Not offered in 2019

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system