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Pages: 30-36

Date of Publication: 28-Jan-2018

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The motivational interview - An instrument for helping patients to adopt healthy behaviors

Author: Dr. Demian Corina

Category: Medical


Health professionals can play an important role in helping their patients to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. Short interventions provide an effective way of addressing behavioral problems in clinical settings and can be used as support in prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. Motivational interview is a highly effective form of short intervention, used to modify health-risk behaviors. A patient-centered intervention, it aims to activate motivation to change behavior. In contrast to more traditional medical approaches that rely on education and authority, motivational interview is centered on support of the patient’s autonomy, collaboration, regarding change.

The motivational interview is widely used in many countries in different clinical contexts such as substance abuse, adherence to a particular diet or physical activity. It also has proven his usefulness in weight control in children, adolescents and adults, but also in increasing treatment adherence of patients with diabetes. Regarding smoking cessation, motivational interview increases rates of abstinence. Brief alcohol interventions led to significant reductions in alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among adolescents and young adults, and the effects persist in the long run. Also, the use of motivational interview has promising results in cancer patients, in reducing chronic pain, in the context of vaccination or for dental prophylaxis.

Keywords: short interventions, motivation for behavior change


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