University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Meeting the UK Government’s prevention agenda: primary care practitioners can be trained in skills to prevent disease and support self-management

Meeting the UK Government’s prevention agenda: primary care practitioners can be trained in skills to prevent disease and support self-management
Meeting the UK Government’s prevention agenda: primary care practitioners can be trained in skills to prevent disease and support self-management
Aims
The NHS Long Term Plan has a prevention focus and ambition to support patients to self-manage disease through improving health behaviours. An essential requirement of self-management is behaviour change, but many practitioners have not been trained in skills to support behaviour change. ‘Healthy Conversation Skills’ (HCS) training was developed at the University of Southampton for this purpose. This paper reports on a pilot study which aimed to assess the feasibility of primary care practitioners adopting HCS in their routine practice. It describes their experiences and level of competence post-training.

Methods
Health Education England (Wessex) commissioned HCS training for 18 primary care practitioners. Fifteen of these practitioners were subsequently observed in their consultations at one or two time points; face-to-face semi-structured, reflective feedback interviews were conducted immediately following the observations. Practitioners’ HCS competence was assessed from the observations and interviews using a previously developed and published coding rubric. The interview data were analysed thematically in order to understand practitioners’ experiences of using the new skills.

Results
Practitioners demonstrated competence in embedding the skills into their routine practice following HCS training. They reflected on how patients liked being asked questions, the usefulness of setting SMARTER goals and the power of listening. They could also identify facilitators of skill use and ways to overcome challenges such as patients with competing priorities and organisational constraints. They found the skills valuable as a way of empowering patients to make changes to manage their own health.

Conclusions
HCS are acceptable to primary care practitioners, can be readily adopted into their routine consultations and are a helpful strategy for supporting patients to make changes. HCS training has the potential to be a sustainable, scalable and effective way of contributing to the prevention agenda by supporting disease self-management, and hence of addressing today’s epidemic of lifestyle-related conditions.
1757-9147
Lawrence, Wendy
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Watson, Daniella
26005c9f-779f-407b-b7e4-b7c9b812b6be
Barker, Hannah
498ebf89-3ab5-4509-b4da-bbe922bafd07
Vogel, Christina
768f1dcd-2697-4aae-95cc-ee2f6d63dff5
Rahman, Em
40dcaa0e-bf4a-4efa-928e-4c162b5030b7
Barker, Mary
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2
Lawrence, Wendy
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Watson, Daniella
26005c9f-779f-407b-b7e4-b7c9b812b6be
Barker, Hannah
498ebf89-3ab5-4509-b4da-bbe922bafd07
Vogel, Christina
768f1dcd-2697-4aae-95cc-ee2f6d63dff5
Rahman, Em
40dcaa0e-bf4a-4efa-928e-4c162b5030b7
Barker, Mary
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2

Lawrence, Wendy, Watson, Daniella, Barker, Hannah, Vogel, Christina, Rahman, Em and Barker, Mary (2020) Meeting the UK Government’s prevention agenda: primary care practitioners can be trained in skills to prevent disease and support self-management. Perspectives in Public Health. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims
The NHS Long Term Plan has a prevention focus and ambition to support patients to self-manage disease through improving health behaviours. An essential requirement of self-management is behaviour change, but many practitioners have not been trained in skills to support behaviour change. ‘Healthy Conversation Skills’ (HCS) training was developed at the University of Southampton for this purpose. This paper reports on a pilot study which aimed to assess the feasibility of primary care practitioners adopting HCS in their routine practice. It describes their experiences and level of competence post-training.

Methods
Health Education England (Wessex) commissioned HCS training for 18 primary care practitioners. Fifteen of these practitioners were subsequently observed in their consultations at one or two time points; face-to-face semi-structured, reflective feedback interviews were conducted immediately following the observations. Practitioners’ HCS competence was assessed from the observations and interviews using a previously developed and published coding rubric. The interview data were analysed thematically in order to understand practitioners’ experiences of using the new skills.

Results
Practitioners demonstrated competence in embedding the skills into their routine practice following HCS training. They reflected on how patients liked being asked questions, the usefulness of setting SMARTER goals and the power of listening. They could also identify facilitators of skill use and ways to overcome challenges such as patients with competing priorities and organisational constraints. They found the skills valuable as a way of empowering patients to make changes to manage their own health.

Conclusions
HCS are acceptable to primary care practitioners, can be readily adopted into their routine consultations and are a helpful strategy for supporting patients to make changes. HCS training has the potential to be a sustainable, scalable and effective way of contributing to the prevention agenda by supporting disease self-management, and hence of addressing today’s epidemic of lifestyle-related conditions.

Text
HEW HCS Perspectives in PH - final accepted version - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 4 February 2021.
Available under License .
Request a copy
Text
HEW HCS pilot paper Table 1
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License .
Request a copy

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 4 November 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444982
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444982
ISSN: 1757-9147
PURE UUID: 206e903e-4c9b-4b25-bcdb-a587dbd926e7
ORCID for Mary Barker:

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 16 Nov 2020 17:30
Last modified: 16 Nov 2020 17:31

Export record

Contributors

Author:
Author:
Author: Hannah Barker
Author:
Author: Em Rahman
Author:

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using , developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×