Liggins Institute seminar: Improving population health: training UK health and social care practitioners in skills to support behaviour change Event as iCalendar

21 October 2013

3 - 4pm

Venue: Robb Lecture Theatre, Room 501-B09, Basement Level, Building 501, 85 Park Road, Grafton

Public health policy stresses the potential of cumulative, small changes in individual and family behaviours to produce significant changes in population health.

Researchers at the UK Medical Research Council’s Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, the University of Southampton, Southampton city officials and Primary Care Trust have spent the last few years using research into the barriers to change for disadvantaged Southampton mothers and families to design and develop a new intervention that begins with the health care workforce.

Their ‘Healthy Conversations’ skills training has now been shown to equip health care practitioners with sustainable skills they are able to use during routine contact with families, specifically aiming to improve self-efficacy and a sense of control over their diet and physical activity.

Practitioners have been able to demonstrate increased use of skills to support behaviour change at all time-points. One year post-training they were observed to use behaviour change skills significantly more often than a comparison group of practitioners who had not been trained.

The Southampton Initiative for Health (SIH) is now gaining international attention and Dr Wendy Lawrence is visiting New Zealand as an advisor to Gravida: National Centre for Growth & Development as part of the MOH Improving Maternal and Child Nutrition and Physical Activity Workforce Development Services Programme. Part of the programme involves Dr Lawrence working consultatively with project stakeholders, scientists, researchers and public health experts to adapt ‘Healthy Conversations’ for use in the NZ cultural context. At this seminar you’ll hear about the design of the SIH intervention, its evaluation and ongoing results, and be invited to register your interest in the New Zealand programme.

Attendees will also be shown the value of ‘Healthy Conversations’ skills by trying it out for themselves in a two-minute conversation.

Presented by Dr Wendy Lawrence

Dr Wendy Lawrence joined the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit in 2000 and completed her PhD on “Food Choices of Young Women with Lower Educational Attainment” in 2010. She is a Chartered Health Psychologist with a particular interest in translating research observations into activities to bring about behaviour change to improve population health. The main focus of her work in recent years has been the development and delivery of the SIH’s training intervention to change staff practice, enhancing their skills for empowering patients/clients to improve their lifestyles.


For more information, please contact: Aimee Brock Email: a.brock@auckland.ac.nz to RSVP for the event click here