Enhancing behavioral change with motivational interviewing: a case study in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit

Front Psychol. 2015 Mar 18:6:298. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00298. eCollection 2015.


Background: Psychological interventions in cardiac rehabilitation programs appear relevant in as much they significantly contribute to achieve the goals of rehabilitation, to reduce the risk of relapses and to improve patients' adherence to therapy. To this aim, motivational interviewing (MI) has shown promising results in improving motivation to change and individuals' confidence in their ability to do so.

Objective: The purpose of this article is to integrate theory with practice by describing a three-session case scenario. It illustrates how MI's skills and strategies can be used to enhance heart-healthy habits. MI may be synergistic with other treatment approaches and it is used here in conjunction with brief strategic therapy.

Conclusion: By the use of MI principles and techniques, the patient reported an increase in his motivation and ability to change, developing a post discharge plan that incorporates self-care behaviors.

Clinical implications: MI may be effective in motivating and facilitating health behavior change among obese patients suffering from heart failure.

Keywords: Brief Strategic Therapy; adherence; behavioral change; cardiac rehabilitation; cardiovascular disease; heart failure; motivational interviewing; self-care.