Table of Contents
ISRN Obesity
Volume 2014, Article ID 579083, 10 pages
Research Article

Health Communication Cards as a Tool for Behaviour Change

1Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, WMC 2805, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6
2Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, The Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre, 2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9

Received 16 November 2013; Accepted 18 December 2013; Published 6 February 2014

Academic Editors: P. J. Geiselman and L. R. Vartanian

Copyright © 2014 Carrie L. Matteson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Individuals seeking healthcare treatment in the context of obesity often experience difficulty engaging in discussions around their health and face challenges finding consensus with practitioners on care plans that best suit their lives. The complex set of biological, social, and environmental variables that have contributed to the higher prevalence of obesity are well illustrated in the foresight obesity system map. Effectively understanding and addressing key variables for each individual has proven to be difficult, with clinicians facing barriers and limited resources to help address patients’ unique needs. However, productive discussions inspired by patient centered care may be particularly effective in promoting behaviour change. Tools based on systems science that facilitate patient centered care and help identify behaviour change priorities have not been developed to help treat adult obesity. This project created and pilot tested a card based clinical communication tool designed to help facilitate conversations with individuals engaged in health behaviour change. The health communication cards were designed to help direct conversation between patients and healthcare providers toward issues relevant to the individual. Use of the cards to facilitate patient driven conversations in clinical care may help to streamline conversations, set realistic care plan goals, and improve long term rates of compliance.