Journal article

Factors impacting on development and implementation of training programs for health professionals to deliver brief interventions, with a focus on programs developed for Indigenous clients: a literature review

Indigenous health Health services accessibility cultural competency Australia


Objective: This paper reviews the literature on evaluations of brief intervention training programs for health professionals which address one or more lifestyle factors of chronic disease to identify factors impacting on development and implementation of programs.

Importance of study: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (referred to as Indigenous Australians in this paper) suffer a higher burden of disease compared to other Australians. Indigenous Australians’ poorer general health is reflected in their reduced life expectancy, approximately ten years lower than the general population.

Study type: A search was conducted of the literature evaluating brief intervention training programs from 2000–2019 in the databases: Medline, CINAHL, Psychinfo, Academic Premier, Science Direct, Ovid (Including EMBASE and Healthstar), Web of Science and Informit. The content analysis and data extraction were aligned to the domains in the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to assist in the narrative synthesis.

Methods: This review searched electronic databases and other sources from 10 February 2018 to 07 March 2018 initially, and the search was updated on 27 May 2019. In this review we included all types of research studies: case-control, case studies, randomised controlled trials, qualitative and mixed methods studies.

Conclusion: Key messages from the review for the development and implementation of future BI training programs include: ensuring supports from management and engagement of workers from the start and incorporating the intervention as a standard component of health professionals’ roles. The availability of ongoing funding and adapting the program to meet the structural characteristics of the organisations are also important. Subsequent to the conduct of the training program, ongoing implementation of the intervention needs to be incorporated into routine practice aligning with the operational procedures of the organisation. This review highlights that healthcare providers can attain brief motivational interview knowledge, skills and confidence relatively quickly and these can be sustained over time, however, further research is needed to determine if BI skills are long lasting. Finally, to comprehensively understand the factors that impact on the implementation of BI training programs, conduct of in-depth qualitative studies to evaluate specific training features and methods that work best is recommended. It is expected that the results of such a study would provide deeper insights into facilitators and barriers of organisational implementation of BI training programs and its ongoing delivery.

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