The module aims to develop knowledge and skills that serve to promote and maintain health by: promoting patient engagement with healthcare; encouraging patients to take more responsibility for their own health; and enhancing motivation for sustained health behaviour change.
The Department of Health has recognised that health professionals have many opportunities to engage with individuals and propose that health should be promoted at every patient contact. The focus of the module therefore will be on developing skills that can be used both opportunistically as well as with help seeking patients.
The module takes an interpersonal perspective on patient engagement and motivation and explores how a health professional’s behaviour influences outcome. You will have the opportunity to explore your attitudes and beliefs and evaluate how your behaviour can assist or undermine engagement and change. The module also provides opportunities to practice some of the skills involved in evidence–based approaches such as motivational interviewing.
Podiatry and physiotherapy students are taught Healthy Discussions separately. This keeps cohort sizes manageable (and as such provides a safe and supportive learning environment for students to explore their attitudes and beliefs about their role in the behaviour change process and experiment with novel skills). It also means that learning can be context-bound, directly addressing the different challenges each profession experiences in clinical practice, which serves to maximise the acquisition and refinement of skills.