This Evidence Check review explored factors contributing to effective referral to population based lifestyle modification programs for people with chronic disease. It considered factors which influence practitioner referrals to such programs and factors influencing the likelihood of the patient engaging with and completing a program. The reviewers identified barriers and facilitators to referrals by health professionals and to uptake, engagement and completion of programs by patients. The research suggests that for health professionals, involvement in program design, educational activities and practitioner advocates and receiving feedback on program effectiveness may increase referrals. For patients, factors related to the method of referral and personal, environmental and social factors appear to influence likelihood of engagement with and completion of programs.


Zurynski Y, Smith K, Siette J, Nic Giolla Easpaig B, Simons M et al. Lifestyle modification programs: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute ( for the NSW Ministry of Health, 2020.

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