Translation of Motivational Interviewing Theory and Practice into Community Settings

Tuesday, 31 July 2012: 2:10 PM

Kathy Orth, MS, BS, RN
College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Winona State University, Rochester, MN
Carole E. Jenson, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, CCRN
Nursing, Winona State University-Rochester, Rochester, MN
Sharon Tucker, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC
Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

A College of Nursing established community partnerships to deliver innovative, community-based health projects using motivation interviewing (MI). Motivational interviewing is a recognized skill that can provide health care workers an understanding of the client’s motivation. Establishment of trusting relationships between WSU nursing students and community members is strengthened when the motivation arises from within specific at-risk communities. Within this context, motivational interviewing is an appropriate approach for addressing childhood obesity and health literacy.   

An innovative evidence-based intervention to approach childhood obesity integrated MI and the Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 Program. Senior baccalaureate nursing students coached elementary school students on a one to one basis for the school year. Student pairs established a contract that included (a) goals for increasing physical activity and improving nutrition patterns for elementary students, and (b) weekly meetings to implement and evaluate the goals. Let’s Go! provided the structure related to physical activity and healthy nutrition. Student nurses used motivational interviewing and stages of change as a framework to facilitate motivation and behavior change in the school children. After introducing MI theory and skills to the senior students, nursing faculty worked with the students to ensure fidelity in the MI approach. Data related to effectiveness of this approach in changing the behavior of elementary students will be presented.

MI was used in the implementation of a community-based health literacy program customized to the needs of the Hispanic, Cambodian, Sudanese, Somali, and African-American communities. Graduate nursing students completed a MI assessment before the project began. After completion of MI education, students met with community members on an ongoing basis to develop trusting relationships to address health needs based on the spirit and skills of MI. Data regarding the effectiveness of this approach will be presented.