Bites

November 2009

Clinical

Influencing behaviour change in general practice

Part 1 – brief intervention and motivational interviewing

Volume 38, No.11, November 2009 Pages 885-888

Moira G Sim

Toni Wain

Eric Khong

Background

Behaviour change toward achieving a healthy lifestyle is important for all Australians, and general practitioners have a key role to play in assisting patients to make these changes.

Objective/s

This is the first of a two part series which provides the background to approaches to influencing behaviour change in general practice, from brief interventions to motivational interviewing (MI). The second part of the series will explore motivational interviewing in more detail.

Discussion

General practitioners have a key role in changing their patients’ health behaviours. There are a range of tools GPs can use to help enhance their patients’ motivation to achieve their health goals.

Instigating behaviour change in patients to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle is a critical component of general practice to combat rising chronic disease in the community. An individual’s health behaviour is determined by a complex interplay between their knowledge and understanding of health and disease, the personal meaning and relevance of that knowledge, their confidence in their ability to make changes, and a range of other factors acting as facilitators and barriers to change.1

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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Clinical