Healthy Life Centre – Norway


A Healthy Life Centre (HLC) is an interdisciplinary primary health care service which offers effective, knowledge-based programs and methods for people with, or in high risk of disease, who need support in health behaviour change and in coping with health problems and chronic diseases. The HLC is part of the public health care service in the municipality. HLC programs have a patient oriented approach and aim at strengthening the individual’s control of his or her own health (empowerment). As a minimum HLCs offer various exercise groups, and individually or group based counselling or courses for increased physical activity, healthy nutrition and tobacco cessation. Many HLCs also offer counselling, support and education on issues related to mental health, sleep and alcohol. Counselling is based on Motivational Interviewing (MI). In the municipality, the HLCHLC functions as a resource-, knowledge- and contact centre for behaviour change, health promotion and disease prevention. When contacting the HLC, either on their own or by referral, participants get a consultation to examine their needs and motivations. The participant is then enrolled in a 12-week program. During the program, they can get an individual consultation if needed. The duration of the program may be prolonged. Cooperation with other municipal health care services, hospitals, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), private and public organizations and local authorities is of vital importance in order to provide continuous and integrated health care and help people to establish independent and lasting health enhancing habits. A key task for the HLC is to guide the participants into suitable and feasible local programs and activities that they can continue with on their own after participation in the HLC. The HLCs should provide a good overview of such programs. The service must follow law regulations regarding municipal health care services. All personnel providing health care at the HLC, is regarded as health-personnel. Their practice must follow the regulations in the health personnel act.

Evaluations have shown that HLCs recruit people who do not on their own seek or participate in other services such as fitness centres. Participants in HLCs need help to find appropriate services, build motivation and to create strategies for maintaining sustainable coping and behaviour change. General practitioners who refer patients to HLCs are of the opinion that the HLCs offer good services. Studies indicate that participation in the programs can lead to improved physical fitness, weight loss and improved self-perceived health and quality of life, as well as maintaining health behaviour change one year after the follow-up. A three year national effect study on Healthy Life Centres is planned from the autumn of 2015. The Norwegian directorate of health has published a guide for the establishment, management and quality of the HLC. The guide will be updated in 2015 and later translated to English.


Additional information:

(last accessed in March 2017)

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Life Cycle Stages: Whole life cycle | 
Main Settings: community | healthcare services | 
Specific Topics: mental health | nutrition | physical activity | substance abuse | 

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