May 2008

Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


Background: The success of individuals in changing complex health behaviors is critical both to preventative health care and to the management of chronic diseases. The opportunities of public health nurses for interaction with clients provides an opportunity to facilitate behavior change. Purposes: The purposes of this study were to evaluate the training, feasibility, and usefulness of brief interventions using Behavior Change Counseling (BCC), which is based on Motivational Interviewing, to facilitate behavior change in patients encountered by nurses in their public health nursing practices. Methods: Twelve rural public health nurses were trained in the use of a brief intervention based on BCC (Dunn & Rollnick, 2003). Initial training was provided in a one-day workshop. Nurses were asked to try to use BCC in their usual practice situations and were provided two follow-up phone calls over the course of eight weeks. To measure training effectiveness, three taped interactions using BCC were scored using the Behavior Change Counseling Index (BECCI), and interviews were conducted with the nurse participants to understand their experience with training and use of BCC. Results: All of the nurses found the training workshop very helpful. BCC was a good fit with the past background and training of the nurses and provided helpful tools for practice. Nurses felt that additional training and practice, specific to the types of patients encountered in rural public health practice, would help them develop the skills and confidence to increase their use of BCC. Training incorporated into the work environment would allow busy rural public health nurses, who often serve in multiple capacities, a more realistic possibility of becoming proficient in using BCC.




School of Nursing



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