Dr Dean Whitehead
With my health education hat on, I have commented many times on the com- plexities and dilemmas of achieving health-related behavioural change when working with different clients in health- care settings (e.g. Whitehead 2001, 2004, 2005, Whitehead & Russell 2004). Achieving socio-cognitive-related behavioural change is one of the most pressing issues in health care and also one of the most challenging – particularly in the context of preventative community-based strategies. For those working in the hospital setting, its relevance is more prevalent in the reactive forms of client behaviour management associated with those who have existing health issues. This book is a useful resource for both situations as it deals with potential chronic health issues, such as diabetes, obesity and safe sex in both an acute and public health context.
This is a refreshing and accessible book. It acknowledges the complexities of behavioural change in clients and, in doing so, attempts to break motivational change into meaningful and practical situations. It is not a demanding book and succinct enough to be read through within a few sittings. Both the fundamental and more specific instructions are user-friendly. Hypothetical case-studies, vignettes and client-practitioner dialogues pepper this text. The final section of the book seeks to ‘put it all together’ and succeeds in doing this. This book is not directly aimed at clinical nurses but this is not a problem. It is a generic text aimed at all health professionals and is appropriate for anyone dealing with health issues of the general public in healthcare settings. If there is any weakness to this book, I would argue that some sections are covered too briefly – but then, for some readers, this might be viewed as one of its strengths. Overall then, to assist teaching and instruction of behavioural- change (health education) issues in required nursing modules and papers, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels (and as a ward/unit resource), this book should be seriously considered.