Teaching Physicians Motivational Interviewing for Discussing Weight With Overweight Adolescents.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: We tested whether an online intervention combined with a patient feedback report improved physicians' use of motivational interviewing (MI) techniques when discussing weight with overweight and obese adolescents. METHODS: We randomized 46 pediatricians and family physicians and audio recorded 527 patient encounters. Half of the physicians received an individually tailored, online intervention. Then, all physicians received a summary report detailing patient's weight-related behaviors. We coded MI techniques and used multilevel linear mixed-effects models to examine arm differences. We assessed patients' motivation to change and perceived empathy after encounter. RESULTS: We found arm differences in the Intervention Phase and the Summary Report Phase: Empathy (p < .001), MI Spirit (p < .001), open questions (p = .02), and MI consistent behaviors (p = .04). Across all three phases (Baseline, Intervention, and Summary Report), when physicians had higher Empathy scores, patients were more motivated to change diet (p = .03) and physical activity (p = .03). In addition, patients rated physicians as more empathic when physicians used more MI consistent techniques (p = .02). CONCLUSIONS: An individually tailored, online intervention coupled with a Summary Report improved physicians' use of MI, which improved the patient experience.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pollak, KI; Coffman, CJ; Tulsky, JA; Alexander, SC; Østbye, T; Farrell, D; Lyna, P; Dolor, RJ; Bilheimer, A; Lin, P-H; Bodner, ME; Bravender, TD

Published Date

  • July 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 59 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 96 - 103

PubMed ID

  • 27155958

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4920712

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-1972

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.03.026


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States