Health Care Practitioners' perceptions of motivational interviewing training for facilitating behaviour change among patients

J Allied Health. 2012 Fall;41(3):131-9.


Objectives: To investigate, qualitatively, practitioners' perceptions of a 1-day interactive and applied workshop in motivational interviewing (MI). Specifically, participants explored the training's usefulness in supporting perceptions of competence, confidence, and attitudes towards facilitating behaviour change among patients.

Methods: Ten health practitioners including dieticians, pharmacists, nurses, and social workers participated in this qualitative pilot study. Participants received a 1-day (7.5 hour) workshop focused on MI. In-depth one-on-one interviews were conducted prior to the workshop and at 1 and 4 weeks post-training. Methods were employed throughout to ensure data trustworthiness.

Results: Pre-workshop themes about facilitating patient behaviour change included: persistence; advice-giving; behaviour change as hard work for practitioner; low perceived confidence and competence to help; barriers; and feelings of frustration. Post-workshop themes included a renewed inspiration and motivation to facilitate behaviour change; partnering with patients and giving less advice; experiencing a positive perceived impact on the patients; feeling that behaviour change is easier and less stressful; enjoying higher levels of competence and confidence; and being mindful of practitioner impact.

Conclusion: Participation in the structured, interactive, and applied MI training was deemed effective by practitioners dealing with patient behaviour change. Allied health care practitioners are in a key position to facilitate health behaviour changes that contribute to behaviour-related illness. The integration of similar MI trainings for health practitioners should be further explored with a larger group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivational Interviewing / methods*
  • Perception
  • Pilot Projects
  • Qualitative Research