There are at least two obvious purposes to study providers of behavior change interventions; 1) to assess treatment integrity, i.e. to what degree the intervention was delivered as intended, and 2) to gain knowledge about effective implementation methods, i.e. how education of providers should be designed to match what they are supposed to deliver. This presentation focuses on the second purpose.
Promoting physical activity behavior in patients requires providers that are skilled to guide in self-regulatory techniques such as realistic goal-setting and self-monitoring. In 2010 we launched a two-year program to implement health-enhancing physical activity in persons with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). During the first year, twelve physiotherapists (“physio coaches”) guided the participants to increased physical activity using their everyday environment as well as public gyms and regular support group meetings.
The education comprised two times two days before the intervention and two one-day “booster sessions” during the first year of the intervention. We trained the physio coaches according to crucial concepts in Social Cognitive Theory focusing on self-efficacy for coaching, feed-back on performance, and observational learning. Their self-efficacy was promoted by identifying challenging coaching situations, discussing ways to manage them and practicing in role-plays. Individual home assignments were formulated to enable further practice. Individual feed-back on performance was given to each coach by one researcher after observing coaching sessions twice; at the beginning and towards the end of the first intervention year. These sessions were video-recorded and sequences with good examples of coaching were published at an Internet site available only for the coaches. In this way, observational learning was enabled by watching colleagues performing well.
The education is evaluated by assessing the coaches’ knowledge, attitudes and self-efficacy for coaching before, during and after the education. Coaching behavior is assessed by self-reports in logs and by analyzing the video recordings according to predefined criteria. Interviews are performed to further investigate the physio coaches’ experiences during the first year of the intervention.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared