Heather Searfoss

Heather Searfoss

Heather Searfoss-Allaire works in HIV Prevention at Equitas Health and conducts HIV testing in community-based settings focused on reaching LGBTQ populations.

Presentation: Keep Calm and Implement: A Case Study in Adopting Motivational Interviewing
Day: Thursday
Time: Breakout Session 3
Where: Highland

Presentation Description:
This workshop is a case study of the process the Equitas Health HIV prevention department used to restructure their HIV testing program using Motivational Interviewing (MI). Applying the principles of MI to HIV testing sessions with clients has enhanced communication and improved the experience of the interaction for both the service user and prevention staff. The change process began by training all prevention staff in MI skills, which include open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and asking permission before giving advice or providing information. The next step was adapting data collection tools to be congruent with an MI approach to HIV testing. Prior to adopting MI, the intake tool was a question and answer assessment of risk factors. Using an MI approach, the tool was re-designed to facilitate an MI approach. To test the revised tool, HIV prevention staff piloted it with people who requested an HIV test from February through April making revisions based on staff feedback. Client satisfaction with the MI approach to HIV testing was evaluated through follow-up phone interviews.

This workshop will give participants an understanding of what it is like to undertake an organizational change that moved from theory to practice and explore strategies for successfully implementing an evidenced based practice. At the end of the session participants will leave with an understanding of the impact of adopting an MI approach on clients and staff.

Objectives:
1. Understand how to use Motivational Interviewing (MI) as an approach for behavioral change in a time limited interaction like an HIV testing session.
2. Examine the process of adopting an evidenced based practice in community based HIV testing.
3. Understand the impact of adopting Motivational Interviewing on data collection and client satisfaction.