Issues addressed: Little research has been conducted on the impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brief intervention training programs on health staff participants' own health behaviours. Through the Queensland B.strong program (2017-2020), brief intervention training in smoking cessation, nutrition and physical activity was provided to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce and other health and community professionals. This study examined the program's impact on participants' own health behaviours.
Methods: Data were collected through four surveys (pre- and post-training workshop, and 3-month and 6-month follow-up) of the 1131 participants in B.strong training workshops from June 2017 to August 2019. Surveys included items on participants' own health behaviours. Pre- and post-workshop surveys were paper-based, and follow-up surveys were completed online. For the analysis of data reported in this paper, paired-samples t tests were used to assess changes between pre-workshop and 3-month follow-up.
Results: Statistically significant improvements were found between pre-workshop and 3-month follow-up in the number of serves of vegetables or legumes/beans eaten per day, the number of serves of fruit eaten per day, and in time spent in physical activity. However, there was: no statistically significant change in smoking status, with baseline rates being relatively low; a statistically significant increase in consumption of sugary drinks, and of takeaway foods; a nonsignificant increase in consumption of snack foods; and no significant change in sedentary behaviour of participants.
Conclusion: While some positive changes in participants' own health behaviours in nutrition and physical activity were associated with the B.strong program, there was no change in their smoking behaviour.
So what?: This study found that some improvements in participants' own health behaviours were associated with the B.strong program. This research may inform future Indigenous brief intervention training programs and health services on how to promote healthy behaviours for health staff themselves.