Motivational Interviewing Background


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Assessment with Patient

Motivational interviewing was originally developed and shown to be effective for interventions for alcohol use disorder in a counseling setting (Miller & Rollnick, 1991). It was based on the finding that eliciting arguments for change from clients was more effective than trying to convince them to change (Miller, 1983).

Developing rapport and a collaborative alliance between the patient and the provider are key elements that lead to a patient's willingness to explore ambivalent feelings about making a healthy change and developing motivation. The patient's talk about change during a counseling session has been shown to correlate with actual behavior change (Pirlott et al., 2012).

Motivational Interviewing can be used effectively in medical settings (Lundahl, et al., 2013). Basic steps from this technique can be integrated into a primary care visit (Rahm et al., 2014).

View ReferencesHide References
Lundal B, Moleni T, Burke B L, et al. Motivational Interviewing in Medical Care Settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis randomized controlled trials. Patient Education and Counseling. 2013; 93(2): 157-68. Available at: Accessed on: 2015-09-29.
Miller W. Motivational interviewing with problem drinkers. Behav Psych. 1983; 11: 147-172. Available at: Accessed on: 2013-10-25.
Miller WR, Rollnick S. Motivational interviewing: preparing people to change addictive behavior.. New York, NY; Guilford Press. 1991. Available at: Accessed on: 2013-10-24.
Pirlott AG, Kisbu-Sakarya Y, Defrancesco CA, et al. Mechanisms of Motivational Interviewing in Health Promotion: A Bayesian mediation analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012; 9(1): 69. Available at: Accessed on: 2015-09-29.
Rahm AK, Boggs JM , Martin C, et al.. Facilitators and barriers to implementing SBIRT in primary care in integrated health care settings . Subst Abus. 2014. Available at: Accessed on: 2015-05-27.