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Patient Educ Couns. 2004 Nov;55(2):210-7.

Improving client-provider communication: evaluation of a training program for women, infants and children (WIC) professionals in New York state.

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CSR, Incorporated, 2107 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1000, Arlington, VA 22201, USA.


Results are presented from evaluation of an intensive 1 day training program to improve the growth monitoring counseling skills of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) providers. The training was framed by the patient-centered approach, and focused on a seven-step technique that emphasized eliciting client perspective on the child's health and negotiating follow-up strategies. Changes in skill were assessed during audiotaped mock counseling sessions with simulated clients. Observed intervention effects were moderate but encouraging for future training programs. After the training, more providers elicited client perspective, and provider level of engagement in negotiating with the client increased. At post-test providers asked more open-ended questions than at pre-test, and provider-to-client talk ratio decreased. Increases in provider total and competence-related satisfaction paralleled improvements in counseling proficiency. Study results suggest that counseling skills of non-physician health providers can change after a 1 day focused training: providers were more client-centered in their discussions. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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