According to WHO, lifestyle-related chronic diseases cause increasing numbers of deaths worldwide thus becoming the top cause of deaths during the last decade. As an academic society in the field of biomedicine science, we strive to provide an evidence-based approach targeting the prevention, treatment and reversal of the lifestyle-related chronic diseases. We find it evident that the new model of health care focusing on the Lifestyle Medicine approach has to go beyond the mere relief of symptoms caused by these diseases which is provided by the pharmacologic and surgical approaches of the contemporary medicine. We have to address the underlying causes of these diseases as they can usually be traced to our lifestyle and culture. To address these lifestyle-based issues, we recognize that this will require not only education and motivation but also public policy changes. For our countries, anything less will no longer sustainable.
Since 80-90% of population have chronic disease, we need treatment rather than just prevention. LM as very distinct from Preventive Medicine may be because we have Preventive Medicine as a distinct medical specialty, related to Public Health. We agree lifestyle change is prevention as well as treatment, but our focus is treatment. Thus we share ACLM view, that LM is evidence based "medical treatment" that effectively reverses disease.
Based on LLMA Approach Evidence Based Lifestyle Medicine EBLM is the multidisciplinary activity were 3 parties have to interact and work together:
In future we see more doctors and medical professionals supporting and prescribing EBLM treatments, largely provided by professionals other than doctors working under a doctor's direction and supervision. EXCEPT for those without disease - in these persons the doctor's supervision is not needed, although the professional providing the EBLM still needs to be qualified, and maybe even licensed. We need to clarify terms for both, Public Health centered LM intervention versus clinical care LM, as well as low intensity prevention LM versus high intensity disease reversal LM. We see both ways or a combination possible.
Public Health discipline of LM focuses on intensive behavioral change through educational means and is best carried out by a person trained in Lifestyle Medicine, as a lifestyle couch or manager, not necessary a medical doctor or other health professional. This approach centers more on Public Health discipline were we presume the LM professional is working not only on Public Health but on Personal Health level or the combination of both. When it comes to the practice of Lifestyle Medicine, the LM professional works in the team with MD who monitors and judges the clinical aspects of health and disease. Evidence shows, that it is the best to combine individual counselling with group interaction between 6-10 persons.
Clinical discipline of LM focuses on the combination of conventional medical treatments (including medications and surgery) with intensive behavioral change through educational means and is best carried out by a medical doctor trained LM (having a special certificate) usually working in a team with dietitian, psychologist, physical activity coach and/or rehabilitologist.
The top priority of LLMA is to authorize the new Health care profession in Europe, that of a Lifestyle Medicine Professional, to be integrated as a part of the health care system in our countries and across the entirety of the European Union. Based on our approach Lifestyle Medicine Professional is a Counsellor (or the Lifestyle Manager), not necessary a Medical Doctor, working in Primary Health care in a team with family doctor and if needed together with dietitian, PA specialist and psychologist. This approach enables us to claim the LM professional:
European Bachelor in Physical Activity and Lifestyle (equal to Lifestyle Medicine undergraduate studies) in the Lithuanian Sports University (established September 2014 in English) http://www.lsu.lt/en/studies/study-programmes/undergraduate/european-bachelor-degree-physical-activity-and-lifestyle. Lifestyle Medicine The Master of Public Health in Lifestyle Medicine (MPH LM) (established September 2016 in Lithuanian language only) in the faculty of Public Health in the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences http://www.lsmuni.lt/media/dynamic/files/9566/lifestyle_medicine_description_2.pdf.
It is planed to openin the curriculum in English September 2017.
We consider to license these specialists in Ministry of Health in Lithuania to work with a person without Internship.
We will seek to organize the Lifestyle Medicine training and licensing for medical Doctors.
We are looking forward to integrate LM approach for nurses as well.
We want to prove to the Government and European Commission, that integration of the Lifestyle Medicine Professional as an evidence based innovation in Health Care can be effective, inexpensive and achievable in quite a short period of time.