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Prev Chronic Dis. 2013 Nov 7;10:E185. doi: 10.5888/pcd10.130084.

Training veterans to provide peer support in a weight-management program: MOVE!

Author information

1
The University of Texas, School of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, 5323 Harry Hines, V8.112, Dallas, TX 75390-9128. E-mail: Marlyn.A.Allicock@uth.tmc.edu.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has implemented MOVE!, a weight-management program for veterans designed to address the increasing proportion of overweight and obese veterans. The objective of our study was to determine whether peer support employing motivational interviewing (MI) could positively influence lifestyle changes, thus expanding the reach of the MOVE! program. We describe the initial evaluation of the peer training program.

METHODS:

We developed an MI peer ounselor training program for volunteer veterans, the "Buddies" program, to provide one-on-one telephone support for veterans enrolled in MOVE!. Buddies were recruited at 5 VHA sites and trained to provide peer support for the 6-month MOVE! intervention. We used a DVD to teach MI skills and followed with 2 to 3 booster sessions. We observed training, conducted pre- and posttraining surveys, and debriefed focus groups to assess training feasibility.

RESULTS:

Fifty-six Buddies were trained. Results indicate positive receipt of the program (89% reported learning about peer counseling and 87% reported learning communication skills). Buddies showed a small improvement in MI self-efficacy on posttraining surveys. We also identified key challenges to learning MI and training implementation.

CONCLUSIONS:

MI training is feasible to implement and acceptable to volunteer Buddies. Trainers must assess how effectively volunteers learn MI skills in order to enhance its effective use in health promotion.

PMID:
24199738
PMCID:
PMC3820515
DOI:
10.5888/pcd10.130084
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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