Effectiveness of motivational interviewing on improving Care for Patients with type 2 diabetes in China: A randomized controlled trial

BMC Health Serv Res. 2020 Jan 23;20(1):57. doi: 10.1186/s12913-019-4776-8.


Background: To assess the effects of a motivational interviewing (MI)-based patient empowerment program (PEP) on type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patient self-management compared to traditional diabetes health education.

Methods: Two hundred and twenty-five patients, recruited from community health centers (CHCs) and the family medicine clinic in the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital in Shenzhen, were randomly assigned to the intervention or control groups. Patients in the intervention group (n = 117) received a four-session PEP in small groups over 1 month by trained nurses and doctors. The control group (n = 108) received the traditional lecture-style health education on DM. All the patients were followed up for 3 months. Outcomes included problem areas in diabetes (PAID) that measures diabetes-related emotional distress, patient enablement index (PEI), mental health, patient satisfaction respectively as well as lifestyle behaviors were assessed at baseline, post-activity and 3 months.

Results: At post-intervention and the 3-month follow-up, the PAID score improved significantly in the intervention group (12.7 ± 13.6, 5.8 ± 7.6) compared to the control group (22.7 ± 22.8, 11.7 ± 14.6). No difference was found between groups for changes to exercise, diet, and medication adherence. The PEI score improved significantly at the 3-month follow-up in the MI group (7.27 ± 2.45 vs 5.81 ± 2.97).

Conclusion: The PEP has a significant effect on improving diabetes-related distress, but MI was not significantly different from the traditional health education programs when it comes to the readiness to change.

Trial registration: NCT04120844, ClinicalTrials.Gov. Date of registration: October 9th 2019 (Retrospectively registered).

Keywords: China; Motivational interviewing; Patient empowerment; Self-management; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • China
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivational Interviewing*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Participation
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychological Distress
  • Self-Management / psychology*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04120844