Professional Communication and Behaviour Change Skill

Unit code: HHN4001 | Study level: Undergraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
Footscray Park


Core skills for a dietitian include the ability to communicate effectively and to promote positive behaviour changes in clients. This unit explores the theories of effective communication and behaviour change, as they apply to healthcare practice, with specific focus on motivational interviewing techniques and promotion of behaviour change in clients. Students will develop professional approaches to verbal and non-verbal communication with clients and other professional. They will explore and develop, through scenarios, role plays and case studies, strategies for effective interviewing, active listening and goal setting with clients.
Students will also develop skills in recording and communicating written information appropriately and professionally to clients and other professionals

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically review and articulate theories of behaviour change and their application to dietetic practice;
  2. Exemplify good practice in professional communication with both clients and other professionals; and
  3. Justify strategies of communication and behaviour change used in dietetic practice.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 15%
Online Test MCQ (30mins)
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 25%
Group case study presentation (15mins)
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 30%
Case study report (1500 words)
Assessment type: Other
Grade: 30%
Individual client interview (20mins)

Required reading

No required text. Required reading materials from key academic journals and text books will be identified and linked through VU Collaborate

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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