Debora Mantovani, Paolo Pandolfi

Brief Motivational Interviewing to Advance Healthy Lifestyles: A Project Promoted by the Bologna Local Health Unit

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Healthy lifestyles, Behavioral change, Motivation, Brief motivational interviewing, Local Health Unit of Bologna.

Bad diets, lack of physical activity, cigarette smoke and alcohol abuse are features of unhealthy lifestyles. «Gain Health-Make Easy Healthy Choices» is the ministerial program developed in 2006 in order to encourage the embracing of healthy lifestyles through greater knowledge of risks linked to bad behaviors. However, change is a hard goal to achieve, especially if it requires the abandonment of time-honored routines. Consequently, in recent years the promotion of behavioral change has been pursued not only through information campaigns but also by so-called «motivational interviewing». Motivational interviewing is a communicative strategy - especially used by health workers - aiming to impact positively on individuals' will and motivation to change. An interesting variant of this strategy is the «brief» motivational interview, which may be applied in presence of time constraints. This paper describes the innovative project developed by the Local Health Unit of Bologna and designed to encourage knowledge and use of brief motivational interviewing among professionals (health workers, teachers, physical trainers, and pharmacists) engaged in daily activities connected to the promotion of healthy lifestyles. The paper will focus on the evaluation of the project as concerns the theoretical knowledge and empirical skills acquired by participants and their actual use of the brief motivational interviewing technique in daily work.

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