From questionnaire to conversation: A structural intervention to improve HIV test counseling
Objective: We describe the effects of structural intervention to enhance the quality of HIV test counseling interaction with men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco. Methods: Audio recordings of 28 rapid HIV test sessions by seven counselors were collected in two phases: before and after implementation of a waiting room intervention prior to the session. The sessions were analyzed using sequence maps to visualize and compare the sequence and distribution of four activities: counseling, information delivery, data collection, and sample collection. Results: Prior to the intervention, counselors and clients often oriented to data collection about the client's past risk as if it were a survey. In sessions recorded after the intervention, questions about past risk were dispersed throughout the session and embedded within an elaborated discussion of the client's particular life circumstances. Conclusion: Direct observation with the aid of sequence maps illuminates the ways that counselors and clients collaboratively orient to various tasks. Practice implications: We demonstrated the feasibility of a structural intervention that improved the quality of both counseling and the accuracy of client risk data without requiring additional session time or counselor training.
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