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Conference of International Experts Calls for a Focus on Well-Being and The Person in Health
Date:11/11/2009

NEW YORK, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The New York Conference on Well-Being and The Person took place this weekend, bringing together an international group of leading psychiatrists, internists, educators, and scientific researchers. The Anthropedia Foundation and the International Network of Person-Centered Medicine organized the conference, whose purpose was to address well-being and health promotion in medicine and psychiatry. Participants explored the meaning and dimensions of well-being and health, addressed barriers to the development and maintenance of well-being, and discussed successful health promotion models in various countries. Additionally, participants collaborated to design tools and procedures for person-centered care and well-being outcomes research.

A shift in healthcare focus must be a priority because although life-spans are increasing, we are not seeing increases in quality of life and well-being. Focusing on well-being and health promotion will reduce stigma of mental illness, help prevent chronic disease, reduce relapse and recurrence risks, reduce healthcare costs, and increase productivity due to greater health.

To effectively achieve these benefits will require a shift in attitude and perspective in the training of physicians, education of the public, public policy, and clinical outcomes research. The development of well-being requires consideration and integration of body, thought, and psyche within a person's social context. Interventions for promoting well-being in clinical care need to be contextualized and person-centered. The growing shift in focus toward health promotion, coupled with emerging tools to deliver more person-centered care, will help people improve quality of life, not just longevity.

The conference was co-chaired by Robert Cloninger, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Genetics and Director of the Center for Well-Being at Washington University in St. Lou
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