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Examples of TENTPEGS being used to help empower health professionals and support patients

TENTPEGS is versatile. As it has been developed from a broad evidence-base about changing various health-related behaviours, it can be tailored and applied across health settings, and used by a range of health professionals who are want to have conversations about making health-related behaviour changes.

Changes to eating and physical activity patterns

Preventing child tooth decay

Supporting individuals to stop smoking

Reducing alcohol intake

Changing their health care regimes

TENTPEGS has been applied to a range of settings.

Undergraduate and postgraduate medical education

Midwife training

GP training

Paediatric obesity service training

Dental care practice

Mental health trust as part of their ‘Making Every Contact Count’ public health training

Education professionals discussing child weight in primary schools

Ongoing Projects

Medical Education


Medical schools are expected to equip graduating students with skills to be able to help patients to change health-related behaviours but this is challenging, and medical education often doesn’t involve theory-based or evidence-based education on this topic.


A 1-day training course was delivered by GPs to 4th and 5th year medical students. It gave students the chance to learn about what we know works and what doesn’t work when trying to support people to make behavioural changes, and to practice using the TENTPEGS techniques and get feedback on their performance.

Take home messages?

Following training medical students’ reported increased confidence and intentions to discuss obesity with patients; and felt the training was useful and well delivered. GPs delivering the training also told us that they found the TENTPEGS toolkit useful for their own practice.

Making Every Contact Count


MECC is a public health strategy to encourage behaviour change conversations between health professionals and patients. The TENTPEGS provides training for health professionals in order to meet the criteria for Level 2 training competencies set by MECC.


Training is delivered to health professionals via a 45-minute online module. This has been evaluated amongst staff within a Northwest NHS Trust as part of their Level 2 MECC training. A sample of nearly 500 staff engaged with the training. Following training they reported higher confidence and motivation to have conversations with patients.

Take home messages?

This online TENTPEGS training will be evaluated with a view to identifying how this training may change health professional practice and a range of patient outcomes.

Primary Schools


Primary school staff of all disciplines (e.g. teaching staff, nursing staff, support staff) are increasingly required to have conversations with parents about child weight. These conversations can be challenging and difficult to navigate.


We have worked with primary schools to understand the core challenges in this area, completed a systematic review of education professional experiences, qualitative interviews to identify core challenges and best practice.

Next steps?

We will be developing bespoke TENTPEGS training for primary school professionals, please get in touch with our team to find out more.



Dental professionals are increasing required to discuss prevention with patients, particularly to prevent child tooth decay. This requires conversations with families around making changes to dietary patterns and tooth hygiene. Behaviour change is core to both these topics.


TENTPEGS has been used to support dentists in these routine conversations. Training has been developed to provide on line and face to face support to dental trainees and professionals on these topics. Please see the Toothpicks page for further information on this project.

Next steps?

This work is continuing to be developed and evaluated across a range of dental settings.


TENTPEGS is a tool kit for health professionals to guide conversations with patients about making healthy lifestyle changes.