Understanding the choices we make – a motivational booklet for men who want to stay HIV negative

Published: August 1, 2008

Issues: HIV prevention health promotion for gay men needs to go beyond just providing information and condoms. Motivational interviewing has been identified as an effective cognitive strategy for supporting clients to reflect on their behaviour, set goals and make a commitment to behaviour change. Traditionally motivational interviewing is conducted one-on-one in a clinical or counselling setting. However many sexual health clinicians and general practitioners do not have the time within short consultations to use motivational interviewing effectively.

Description: A work-booklet has been produced for gay men, using motivational interviewing techniques. The booklet is designed to be given to gay men between the time of getting an HIV test and receiving the result: a time when they are most concerned about HIV risk and highly motivated to change behaviour. Readers are asked to write responses to questions that ask them to; reflect on situations where they have unsafe sex, identify their own ‘hot thoughts’ used when having unsafe sex, decide their own safe sex rules and make a commitment for behaviour change and to stay HIV negative. The booklet uses theories of motivational interviewing, the stages of change model and Gold’s research exploring ‘on-line’ and ‘off-line’ thoughts.

Lessons learned: Producing a resource which is not about providing information, but is about helping people think differently was a challenge. An external consultant who specialises in delivering training on motivational interviewing was commissioned to write the booklet. The booklet underwent rigorous focus testing and numerous re-drafting in an effort to ensure it was relevant, understood and completed by gay men.

Next steps: The booklet has been distributed to general practitioners and sexual health clinicians across Queensland. A process and impact evaluation will be undertaken with both service providers and men who used the booklet. Additional training in using motivational interviewing techniques will also be offered to providers. ´Understanding the choices we make´ – a motivational booklet for men who want to stay HIV negative

-Abstract available at link below-
 

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