The potential for motivational interviewing to improve outcomes in the management of diabetes and obesity in paediatric and adult populations: a clinical review

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014 May;16(5):381-7. doi: 10.1111/dom.12195. Epub 2013 Sep 1.


Having good intentions to engage in healthy behaviours, to change our lives in a positive direction and make substantial, lasting changes may not always translate into actions or behaviour that is maintained. Motivational Interviewing is a directive person-centred approach designed to explore ambivalence and activate motivation for change [Miller WR, Rollnick S. Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People to Change Addictive Behaviour. London: Guilford Press, 1991]. A key component of a motivational interviewing conversation is to acknowledge that clients have every right to make no change. It uses a guiding communication style which invites people to consider their own situation and find their own solutions to situations that they identify as problematic that are preventing change. Motivational Interviewing was first introduced in adult health addiction services in the early 1980s. It has developed in the physical health specialties, and in the last 20 years or so attention has turned to the potential of Motivational Interviewing in the paediatric setting and the challenges of using it in families with children at differing ages and developmental stages. This article summarizes studies published from 2006 to 2011 of Motivational Interviewing in individuals across the lifespan with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Keywords: obesity therapy; treatment guidelines; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Communication
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivational Interviewing*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pediatric Obesity / psychology
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Risk Reduction Behavior