Change that Matters: A Health Behavior Change and Behavioral Health Curriculum for Primary Care

Stephanie A. Hooker, Michelle Sherman, Katie A. Loth, Marc James A Uy, Andrew H. Slattengren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although primary care is an ideal setting in which to address behavioral influences on health, clinicians spend little time discussing preventive care, including lifestyle counseling. There is a dearth of comprehensive training and evidence-based resources to educate clinicians in how to effectively engage with patients about these topics. This study describes and evaluates the acceptability of Change that Matters: Promoting Healthy Behaviors, a ten-module curriculum to train clinicians in brief, evidence-based interventions. Each module includes three parts: interactive patient handouts, didactic training, and electronic health record templates to guide the discussion and after visit summary. A two-part, mixed-methods pilot study was used to evaluate the acceptability of the curriculum in a family medicine residency clinic. In Study 1, external family medicine faculty experts (N = 11) provided written feedback on the patient handouts. In Study 2, 20 residents and 20 patients completed qualitative interviews regarding their experience with curricular materials. Content analysis was used to extract qualitative themes. Experts rated the patient handouts as highly understandable and actionable. Resident themes indicated that the curriculum provided concrete tools to address health behavior change, helped structure patient discussions, and increased confidence. Patients felt empowered to make behavior changes. This new curriculum addresses a gap in existing resources, and is available for free download online which can facilitate dissemination ( Research has found the curriculum to be acceptable to experts, residents, and patients. Future studies need to explore its impact on the behavior of both clinicians and patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-784
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center Seed Grant and the National Center for Integrated Behavioral Health (Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA] Cooperative Agreement UH1HP33881).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Clinical education
  • Health and wellness
  • Health promotion
  • Other health professional (physician)

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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