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Clinics prescribe lifestyle changes based on personality, stress audit

mumbai Updated: Aug 15, 2010 00:46 IST
Neha Bhayana
Neha Bhayana
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Do you always sit at the edge of your chair; try to juggle multiple tasks and race against time? If yes, you have a Type A personality, which makes one prone to heart attacks according to various studies.

Determining the client’s personality type is part of the exhaustive evaluation done at the lifestyle management clinic at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim.

When an individual goes to the clinic, he/she is put through a ‘stress audit’, which involves answering a set of 80 to 100 questions about his/her lifestyle, behaviour and causes of stress among others. Answers to questions like ‘Do you get irritated if you have to stand in a long queue for a ticket?’ help the experts analyse the client’s profile and identify risk factors — lack of sleep, over eating and so on — that are associated with diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease and depression.

“We then tell the client to select what he/she wants to modify and sign a commitment sheet. Our job is to motivate the client to implement these changes,” said Dr Sivaramakrishnan S, who heads the Hinduja clinic.

The clinic prescribes a various lifestyle modifications including an appropriate diet, exercise programme and behaviour changed based on the individual’s needs. The first consultation and stress audit at Hinduja Hospital costs Rs 3,000 and follow ups are for Rs 1,000 each.

Most clients are executives who lead stressful lives and want to avoid falling prey to lifestyle disorders. Some people who are already suffering from obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions also go for lifestyle management as an adjuvant therapy (complementary) to medicines.

De-addiction is also an important part of lifestyle management. “We counsel people to help them quit smoking or chewing tobacco and also direct them to de-addiction centres if required,” said Dr Zinobia Madan, who runs Clinoma Healthcare, a lifestyle clinic at Tardeo.

James Ferrao, senior manager at Siemens, kicked the butt with the help of Dr Sivaramakrishnan.

“Everyone knows that smoking is injurious to health but try telling a smoker that. The counsellors motivated me to quit,” he said.

A frequent traveller, Ferroa (37) joined the lifestyle management programme because he was aware that stress is bad for health. Now, he wakes up early, goes for walks, avoids junk food and goes for late-night cocktail dinners only when absolutely necessary.

“Work is still stressful but I have learned to disconnect when I leave office,” he said.