Training Dietitians in Motivational Interviewing: A Pilot Study of the Effects on Dietitian and Patient Behaviour

Eileen Britt, Neville M. Blampied


Objective: To evaluate the transfer of Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills to dietietic practice in a clinical setting, and the effect of this on patient behaviour.  This involved a replication of Britt and Balmpied (2010), except with dietitians providing the MI rather than nurses educators as in the earlier study.  The current study, therefore, is a both a test of replication and generalisation. Method: Two dietitians were trained in MI and effects of this training were evaluated on both practitioner and patient behaviour when MI was delivered in a clinical settting with patients experiencing diabetes self-management difficulties. Comparisons were made between the dietitians’ and participants’ behaviour during baseline (standard Patient Education, n=6 participants) and after the dieitians were trained in MI (n=5 participants). Data were collated from transcripts of all sessions independently coded using the therapist and client behaviour counts from the Motivational Interviewing Skills Code to derive therapist and client behaviour counts. Results: MI training was effective relative to baseline performance. Conclusions: When trained in MI, the practitioners behaved in ways consistent with MI, and this appears to have evoked in-session behaviour from the participants consistent with emergent MI theory.


motivational interviewing; training and coaching; health practitioners

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