Geriatric preventive care: Counseling techniques in practice settings

W. C. McCormick, T. S. Inui

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations


Counseling patients in preventive health measures may be considerably more difficult for the clinician than managing acute illnesses. It requires medical knowledge and assiduousness on the part of both patient and physician, facilitative systems, the cooperation of significant others, and longitudinal good communication between all of these persons to facilitate the kind of objective-setting necessary to make preventive medicine work. The spectrum of clinical preventive care for the elderly is considerable, and the breadth of communication competencies required for optimal effectiveness somewhat daunting. All are within the scope of activities of the active clinician, however, given time and reflective experience. In this broad domain, what is most important to elderly patients may not be primary prevention (avoidance of onset of new diseases) but tertiary prevention (avoidance of impaired function from diseases already in existence) and avoidance of iatrogenesis. Ironically, the final acts of geriatric clinical prevention are those designed to assure appropriate end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalClinics in Geriatric Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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