Background and objectives: Prevalence of chronic disease is rising at unprecedented rates with associated costs that account for 84% of US health care spending. Physicians have the opportunity to guide patients to make lifestyle changes for preventing and self-managing chronic diseases. However, current medical education offers limited training opportunities in behavioral change counseling approaches. Motivational interviewing (MI) is an increasingly well-recognized intervention in the medical community that addresses both behavior change and self-management support. While evidence to support training in motivational interviewing for medical students is growing, more studies are needed. The purpose of this study is to evaluate changes in third-year medical students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes as a result of a 4-hour MI training.
Methods: The study utilized a quasi-experimental design with a pretest and posttest to evaluate the impact of a MI workshop. Fifty-three third-year medical students completed the 4-hour workshop. Each student completed an identical pretest and posttest assessing changes in knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Data were analyzed using t test analysis and qualitative thematic analysis.
Results: Medical students demonstrated statistically significant improvements in confidence, knowledge, and skills. Students' qualitative comments demonstrated increased understanding of MI and desire and confidence to use new skills.
Conclusions: The study provides promising evidence that a short 4-hour training can render positive changes among medical students, which supports integration in medical student education programs. Future studies may include evaluation of curriculum enhancements with a more rigorous research design and development of additional training opportunities.