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Development of a training programme for primary care providers to counsel patients with risky lifestyle behaviours in South Africa

Zelra Malan, Bob Mash, Kathy Everett-Murphy

African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine; Vol 7, No 1 (2015), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.819

Submitted: 15 January 2015
Published:  05 June 2015


Background: We are facing a global epidemic of non-communicable disease (NCDs), which has been linked with four risky lifestyle behaviours. It is recommended that primary care providers (PCPs) provide individual brief behaviour change counselling (BBCC) as part of everyday primarycare, however currently training is required to build capacity. Local training programmes are not sufficient to achieve competence.

Aim: This study aimed to redesign the current training for PCPs in South Africa, around a new model for BBCC that would offer a standardised approach to addressing patients’ risky lifestyle behaviours.

Setting: The study population included clinical nurse practitioners and primary care doctors in the Western Cape Province.

Methods: The analyse, design, develop, implement and evaluate (ADDIE) model provided a systematic approach to the analysis of learning needs, the design and development of the training programme, its implementation and initial evaluation.

Results: This study designed a new training programme for PCPs in BBCC, which was based on a conceptual model that combined the 5As (ask, alert, assess, assist and arrange) with a guiding style derived from motivational interviewing. The programme was developed as an eight-hour training programme that combined theory, modelling and simulated practice with feedback, for either clinical nurse practitioners or primary care doctors.

Conclusion: This was the first attempt at developing and implementing a best practice BBCC training programme in our context, targeting a variety of PCPs, and addressing different risk factors.

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Author affiliations

Zelra Malan, Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Bob Mash, Family Medicine and Primary Care, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Kathy Everett-Murphy, Chronic Diseases Initiative in Africa (CDIA), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa



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