Elements of Healthy CHAT: Check
Healthy CHAT / Section Two: Learning About Healthy CHAT
to establish the person’s current status around their healthy lifestyle choices.
There are many ways to check a person’s current lifestyle choices and start a conversation with them.
Using information from their intake assessment or progress notes to prompt a conversation. For example:
“It says in your notes that you’re not managing to eat a lot of fruit or vegetables. How many servings a day are you getting?”
Using non-verbal cues. For example:
“I noticed that it was difficult for you to get out of the chair just now. Are you managing to keep fit generally? How much walking are you doing?”
Using something in the environment to start a conversation. For example:
“I notice you’ve been looking at that poster over there on the ‘Move more, sit less™’ poster. Is that something you are interested in?”
Using something the person has said to you. For example:
“You just mentioned that you’re eating out a lot because of your work. Does that usually involve a lot of alcohol as well?”
If you feel you have a good rapport with the person, you can ask them directly about their current risk behaviours. For example:
“Are you a smoker? How much exercise do you do on a daily basis?”
Remember to use exploring questions and avoid closed ended yes/no questions.
Notice in the following video how the healthcare worker talks about food and drink, which then “opens the door” into a discussion about the person’s alcohol consumption. Using a “door opener” can start a conversation with the person about their lifestyle choices in a non-confrontational way.
A door opener is an open ended statement to begin the conversation with the person about their lifestyle choice. It is very important that these statements are non-judgemental. Door openers can gently introduce the topic of risky health behaviours in a non-confrontational way. Look for opportunities to introduce a door-opener, for example: relating it to a local/national campaign, something that the person mentioned to you or something you noticed about them.