Location

Online, CIUSSS-NIM

Category

Health behaviour, Psychology

Recruitment status

Ongoing recruitment

Summary

Poor health behaviours such as smoking, being physically inactive, eating an unhealthy diet, and not taking medication as prescribed are important risk factors for the development and/or worsening of chronic diseases (like heart and lung diseases, obesity, diabetes and cancer). In order to get people to engage in good health behaviours, physicians typically give people advice about what they should (and should not) be doing in order to improve their health. However, people often resent getting advice when it is perceived as being “told what to do” – which tends to make people resistant to changing their behaviour.

Motivational communication (MC) is a communication style used to motivate people to adopt a healthy lifestyle by exploring how having good health behaviours can help them achieve their personal life goals. MC is personalized so it can be used with people of all ages, ethnic origins, cultures and languages. It has been very effective in helping people quit smoking, lose weight, and be more active. As a result, more and more physicians are being trained to use MC with their patients. However, many of the tests for assessing how well physicians are using MC are difficult to use and don’t assess MC skills well. Effective and easy to use tests are important for ensuring the quality of training programs but also for ensuring patients benefit from the approach.

This project focuses on the development of a new test to measure MC skills in physicians that is scientifically valid, fun, easy and quick to use. The project will check that it really tests what it is supposed to test (MC skills), so the test can then be used to assess how well our training programs are able to improve physicians' MC skills. Helping physicians learn more effective methods for supporting patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle and engage in good health behaviours is critical for improving health outcomes in those with or at risk for chronic disease.