DiRosa, L., Gupta, A., Spencer, L., & Debonis, S. (2017) Effectiveness of a Clinically Oriented Motivational Interviewing Training Program in Increasing Skills and Changing Perceptions among Family Practice Residents, published in Osteopathic Family Physician, 9(3), 10-17.
Motivational interviewing is a counseling style that allows clients to be the lead in their decision-making, rather than the classic advice-giving counseling style. Motivational interviewing skills are quickly becoming a pre-requisite for many jobs in the healthcare field, specifically those that rely on the patient motivation for successful treatment outcomes (physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, etc.).
This study assessed: 1) the effectiveness of a Motivational Interviewing (MI) training program to improve the skills of family practice residents, and 2) resident and Standardized Patient’s perception of the effectiveness of training and beliefs about MI in clinical practice.
Methods: Seventeen family practice residents completed training over two months, followed by two months of reflection with peers and the researchers. Standardized Patient interactions were videotaped at baseline, post-intervention, and three months later, and were independently assessed using the Behavior Change Counseling Index (BECCI). Residents and Standardized Patients completed reflections at the end of each interaction, and residents completed a post-training survey.
Results: Thirteen residents completed the intervention and assessments. Average BECCI scores increased from 0.74 to 2.26, indicating a positive change in residents. All residents demonstrated an increase in knowledge and an increase in their perceived ability to use MI with patients.
Comment: Adding individualized feedback is needed to maintain skills and confidence among trainees. Research on the effect of the use of MI on patient outcomes is also needed.
Conclusion: Incorporating MI training into a medical school curriculum is a potentially feasible, efficient and effective way of improving patient outcomes related to lifestyle behaviors.