Training Healthcare Providers in Motivational Communication: Do We Know What We Are Doing?

9(29). doi: 10.1007/s12170-015-0457-2

Training healthcare providers in motivational communication for promoting physical activity and exercise in cardiometabolic health settings: do we know what we are doing?
Rouleau, C. R., Lavoie, K.L., Bacon, S. L., Vallis, M., Corace, K., Campbell, T. S., for the Canadian Network for Health Behavior Change and Promotion (2015).



Regular physical activity (PA) is essential for secondary and tertiary prevention of cardiometabolic risk factors and disease, but low adherence to PA recommendations is common. Motivational communication (MC) represents a collection of evidence-based behavior change strategies drawn from motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral techniques, and behavior change theories that show promise for promoting PA adherence. However, dissemination of MC strategies in cardiometabolic healthcare settings has been limited by inconsistent reporting of training fidelity in intervention research, making it unclear how to optimally train healthcare providers. We discuss preliminary considerations for training individuals in the use of MC, including: being relatively intensive with more than self-directed learning, covering an array of behavior change strategies, offering ongoing mentorship and support, and being delivered by a skilled trainer who addresses diverse trainee needs. Future work is needed to expand upon these considerations and establish what constitutes competent MC training to impact cardiometabolic health outcomes.