A feasibility test of a brief motivational interview intervention to reduce dating abuse perpetration in a hospital setting

Psychol Violence. 2016 Jul;6(3):433-441. doi: 10.1037/vio0000050. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


Objective: To describe the intervention development process and feasibility testing of a hospital-based brief intervention to reduce the perpetration of adolescent dating abuse (ADA). To our knowledge, this intervention is the first to focus exclusively on ADA perpetration reduction via a motivational interview-type intervention in this setting.

Method: The rationale for and the six Intervention Mapping steps used to generate the intervention are described. Feasibility is conceptualized as intervention acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality, integration, and limited-efficacy.

Results: The Real Talk intervention was integrated smoothly into the emergency department setting. Participants did not experience any negative impact, and the vast majority (86%) reported that they felt helped. Quantitative assessments suggest that the intervention reduced the number of participants in the pre-contemplation stage of change regarding their use of relationship violence, and may have moved them forward into the action stage. Real Talk participants were more likely than those in the control group to tell friends to help them stay calm around their partner after drinking alcohol, and to talk with their doctor to get help for their problems.

Conclusions: Real Talk was developed to meet an unmet need for tertiary ADA interventions in non-school settings. It was developed in accordance with a recommended framework, informed by theory, and subsequently tested for feasibility. Feasibility assessment results suggest that Real Talk can be implemented in health care settings and may influence attitudinal and behavioral outcomes in the desired directions.