Support Workers as Agents for Health Behaviour Change: an Australian Study of the Perceptions of Clients with Complex Needs, Support Workers and Care Coordinators
Support Workers as Agents for Health Behaviour Change: an Australian Study of the Perceptions of Clients with Complex Needs, Support Workers and Care Coordinators – Sharon Lawn, Tania Westwood, Sarah Jordans & Julianne O’Connor
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education – Published 6 April 2016
An expanding ageing population has placed increased demands on healthcare resources in many countries. Enhancing community aged care support workers’ role to support greater client self-management and reablement is therefore timely. This paper presents perceptions of the impact of an Australian practice change initiative designed to enhance knowledge, skills and confidence of support workers to support behaviour change in clients with complex healthcare needs. A comprehensive training program was delivered in 2013. Methods included thematic analysis of interviews with clients, focus groups with support workers and coordinators, and collection of case studies of client/support worker behaviour change interactions. Client, support worker and coordinator responses were highly positive, reporting improvement in the quality of interactions with clients, client health outcomes, care coordination, communication and teamwork. Mental health literacy remained the biggest knowledge gap. This research showed that support workers are ideally placed to be more actively involved in motivating clients to achieve behaviour change goals.
Read the full journal article here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02701960.2016.1165218