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Publications (3)4.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A total of 148 health and social care practitioners were trained in skills to support behaviour change: creating opportunities to discuss health behaviours, using open discovery questions, listening, reflecting and goal-setting. At three time points post-training, use of the skills was evaluated and compared with use of skills by untrained practitioners. Trained practitioners demonstrated significantly greater use of these client-centred skills to support behaviour change compared to their untrained peers up to 1 year post-training. Because it uses existing services to deliver support for behaviour change, this training intervention has the potential to improve public health at relatively low cost.
    Journal of Health Psychology 04/2014; · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:  Women of lower educational attainment tend to have poorer quality diets and lower food involvement (an indicator of the priority given to food) than women of higher educational attainment. The present study reports a study of the role of food involvement in the relationship between educational attainment and quality of diet in young women. Methods:  The first phase uses six focus group discussions (n = 28) to explore the function of food involvement in shaping the food choices of women of lower and higher educational attainment with young children. The second phase is a survey that examines the relationship between educational attainment and quality of diet in women, and explores the role of mediating factors identified by the focus group discussions. Results:  The focus groups suggested that lower food involvement in women of lower educational attainment might be associated with negative affect (i.e. an observable expression of negative emotion), and that this might mean that they did not place a high priority on eating a good quality diet. In support of this hypothesis, the survey of 1010 UK women found that 14% of the effect of educational attainment on food involvement was mediated through the woman's affect (P ≤ 0.001), and that 9% of the effect of educational attainment on quality of diet was mediated through food involvement (P ≤ 0.001). Conclusions:  Women who leave school with fewer qualifications may have poorer quality diets than women with more qualifications because they tend to have a lower level of food involvement, partly attributed to a more negative affect. Interventions to improve women's mood may benefit their quality of diet.
    Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 04/2012; 25(5):444-452. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Effective communication is necessary for good relationships between healthcare practitioners and clients. This study examined barriers and facilitators to implementing new communication skills. One hundred and ten Sure Start Children's Centre staff attended one of 13 follow-up workshops in Southampton, UK between May 2009 and February 2011 to reflect on the use of new skills following a training course in communication, reflection and problem-solving. Barriers and facilitators were assessed with an adapted Problematic Experiences of Therapy scale (PETS). Staff reported frequency of skill use, and described what made it more difficult or easier to use the skills. Complete data were available for 101 trainees. The PETS indicated that staff had confidence in using the skills, but felt that there were practical barriers to using them, such as lack of time. Skills were used less often when staff perceived parents not to be engaging with them (Spearman's correlation r(s) = -0.42, P < 0.001), when staff felt less confident to use the skills (r(s) = -0.37, P < 0.001) and when there were more practical barriers (r(s) = -0.37, P < 0.001). In support of findings from the PETS, content analysis of free text responses suggested that the main barrier was a perceived lack of time to implement new skills. Facilitators included seeing the benefits of using the skills, finding opportunities and having good relationships with parents. Understanding the range of barriers and facilitators to implementation is essential when developing training to facilitate ongoing support and sustain skill use. Special attention should be given to exploring trainees' perceptions of time, to be able to address this significant barrier to skill implementation. Staff training requires a multi-faceted approach to address the range of perceived barriers.
    Health & Social Care in the Community 03/2012; 20(4):430-7. · 0.86 Impact Factor