Preventing Chronic Disease | Training Veterans to Provide Peer Support in a Weight-Management Program: MOVE! - CDC
Training Veterans to Provide Peer Support in a Weight-Management Program: MOVE!
Marlyn Allicock, PhD, MPH; Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, MHA; Carol Carr, MA; Melinda Orr, MEd; Leila C. Kahwati, MD, MPH; Bryan J. Weiner, PhD; Linda Kinsinger, MD, MPH
Suggested citation for this article: Allicock M, Haynes-Maslow L, Carr C, Orr M, Kahwati LC, Weiner BJ, et al. Training Veterans to Provide Peer Support in a Weight-Management Program: MOVE!. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:130084. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd10.130084.
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.
We developed an MI peer counselor 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.
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.
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.
Author InformationCorresponding Author: Marlyn Allicock, PhD, MPH, The University of Texas, School of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, 5323 Harry Hines, V8.112, Dallas, TX 75390-9128. Telephone: 214-648-1041. E-mail: Marlyn.A.Allicock@uth.tmc.edu.
Author Affiliations: Lindsey-Haynes-Maslow, Bryan J. Weiner, The University of Texas School of Public Health, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences; Carol Carr, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; Melinda Orr, Linda Kinsinger, Veterans Health Administration, Durham, North Carolina; Leila C. Kahwati, Veterans Health Administration, Durham, North Carolina; and RTI, International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.