Motivational interviewing to enhance treatment initiation in substance abusers: an effectiveness study

Am J Addict. 2001 Fall;10(4):335-9. doi: 10.1080/aja.10.4.335.339.


Sixty individuals referred for a substance abuse evaluation by a child welfare worker were randomly assigned to either a standard evaluation or an evaluation enhanced by Motivational Interviewing techniques, each delivered in a single session. Participants who received the enhanced evaluation were significantly more likely to attend at least one additional treatment session after the initial evaluation (59% versus 29%). This finding suggests that comparatively inexpensive modifications of "standard" initial evaluations with substance-using parents may increase engagement of substance-abusing parents in treatment. Moreover, this study adds to an overwhelmingly positive literature supporting Motivational Interviewing with alcohol-using populations and extends prior findings to non-research community settings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy