Professional Communication and Behaviour Change Skill

    Unit code: HHN4001 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    VU Sunshine Clinical School
    240 credits from Bachelor of Nutritional Science OR Appropriate Bachelor degree for graduate entry students.
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    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 health professionals. 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 health professionals.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    1. Critically review, articulate, and apply theories of behaviour change to dietetic practice;
    2. Exemplify tailored oral and written communication for diverse lay and professional audiences;
    3. Justify strategies of communication and behaviour change used in dietetic practice; and
    4. Implement strategies that assist individuals to establish and achieve self-directed tailored goals


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 15%
    Test (30mins)
    Assessment type: Presentation
    Grade: 25%
    Individual case study presentation (5mins)
    Assessment type: Report
    Grade: 30%
    Case study report (1500 words)
    Assessment type: Other
    Grade: 30%
    Individual Client Interview and supporting resource (15mins + 500 words equivalent) (hurdle)

    Required reading

    No required text. Required reading materials from key academic journals and text books will be identified and linked through VU Collaborate RECOMMENDED TEXT: Nutrition counselling & education skill development (2020), 4th edition, Kathleen Bauer and Doreen Liou Public Health Nutrition (2007) From principles to practice. Edited by Mark Lawrence and Tony Worsley

    As part of a course

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

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