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Helping to motivate patients’ health behaviours

July 14, 2014

Clinician Influence and Patient Action workshop
From left to right: Ina Radziunas, clinical nurse specialist and Arlene Silverstein, project manager of the Ontario osteoporosis strategy, facilitators of the Choices and Changes workshop at WCH. Missing from photo: Karen Gold and Cris Barrett.

Patients’ behaviours and commitment to their treatment plans can have a significant impact on their overall health outcomes. That’s why Women’s College Hospital (WCH), in partnership with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (TCLHIN), recently offered the Choices and Changes: Clinician Influence and Patient Action workshop from the Institute for Healthcare Communications (IHC).

The full-day workshop was facilitated by trained course instructor Ina Radziunas, clinical nurse specialist, WCH, and Arlene Silverstein, project manager of the Ontario osteoporosis strategy, WCH. It brought together a wide range of healthcare providers from various backgrounds and presented them with effective communications tools and strategies in order to motivate patients to be more committed to their treatment plans.

“As healthcare providers, we’ve generally been taught to prescribe treatment and provide advice and information to our patients,” said Radziunas. “However, we now know this method provides very little impact on the improvement of patients’ health and therefore, we must take the next step and see how we can better motivate patients’ health behaviours.”

During the workshop, attendees worked together to explore different understandings of the patient behaviour change process, as well as their own, while comparing those understandings to research evidence gathered over the past 25 years.

“Our goal with this program is to help healthcare providers attain a better understanding of the role they can play in helping change patients’ health behaviours and in turn their health outcomes,” added Radziunas.

The organizers of the workshop – including Radziunas, as well as Karen Gold, social worker/interprofessional education coordinator at WCH, and Cris Barrett, director of specialized medicine and mental health, WCH – plan to continue the roll-out of the program hospital-wide, with the next workshop being held in fall of 2014.

To find out more about Choices and Changes, please click here.


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