Quality assessment of health counseling: performance of health advisors in cardiovascular prevention

J. Harting*, P.T. van Assema, H.T. van der Molen, A.W. Ambergen, N.K. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Quality assessment of health counseling: performance of health advisors in cardiovascular prevention.

Harting J, van Assema P, van der Molen HT, Ambergen T, de Vries NK.

Health Research Institute for Prevention and Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health Education and Promotion, Maastricht University, Postbus 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. j.harting@gvo.unimaas.nl

Quality assessments of interventions are seen as essential in optimizing their implementation, interpreting their effectiveness, and illuminating their underlying processes. In Hartslag Limburg, a cardiovascular prevention project, the quality of a health counseling intervention was assessed as part of the process evaluation. Four health advisors each video-taped 16 counseling sessions, all of which were assessed by three independent observers. Health counseling was found to be a very difficult skill, but, all things considered, the overall quality was evaluated as rather encouraging. No indication was found of quality improvement over time. The interpretation of the findings was complicated by limited absolute interobserver agreement, but reliable relative distinctions could be made between the health advisors' performance and their application of various counseling skills. Future quality investigators are advised to carefully match study goals with study methods, and practitioners planning a health counseling project should take the complexity of the task into account
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages11
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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