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Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Dec;81(3):468-75. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.08.011.

From questionnaire to conversation: a structural intervention to improve HIV test counseling.

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  • 1UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.



We describe the effects of structural intervention to enhance the quality of HIV test counseling interaction with men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco.


Audio recordings of 28 rapid HIV test sessions by seven counselors were collected in two phases: before and after implementation of a waiting room intervention prior to the session. The sessions were analyzed using sequence maps to visualize and compare the sequence and distribution of four activities: counseling, information delivery, data collection, and sample collection.


Prior to the intervention, counselors and clients often oriented to data collection about the client's past risk as if it were a survey. In sessions recorded after the intervention, questions about past risk were dispersed throughout the session and embedded within an elaborated discussion of the client's particular life circumstances.


Direct observation with the aid of sequence maps illuminates the ways that counselors and clients collaboratively orient to various tasks.


We demonstrated the feasibility of a structural intervention that improved the quality of both counseling and the accuracy of client risk data without requiring additional session time or counselor training.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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