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Improving community health and social care practitioners' confidence, perceived competence and intention to use behaviour change techniques in health behaviour change conversations.

Bull, Eleanor R and Dale, Hannah (2020) Improving community health and social care practitioners' confidence, perceived competence and intention to use behaviour change techniques in health behaviour change conversations. Health and Social Care in the Community. ISSN 0966-0410

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Abstract

Community health and social care practitioners play an increasingly important role in the health promotion agenda, but lack confidence in having effective health behaviour change (HBC) conversations with members of the public. This study reports the development and evaluation of a training intervention based on health psychology to improve health and social care practitioner self-rated confidence, competence and intention to use five behaviour change techniques (BCTs) in their HBC conversations. A 2-day behavioural science interprofessional skills training course plus online learning module was designed for health and social care staff across North East Scotland, teaching five evidence-based BCTs (e.g. Action Planning), plus person-centred communication skills. Participants rated confidence, competence and future intention to use the BCTs on likert scales (1-10) pre-course and post-course, and provided acceptability data. 177 participants aged 20-64 took part, qualitative and quantitative data suggested that the course had high acceptability. Paired samples t tests (n = 120 with complete data) showed significant improvements in confidence, competence and intention following the course, which remained significant with a conservative analysis (n = 174) assuming no change for missing data. Perceived competence in Action Planning increased most during the course (mean change 3.09). In conclusion, health psychology-based skills training can improve practitioner confidence, competence and intention to use evidence-based BCTs; further evaluation is needed to assess practice change.

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