Using Motivational Interviewing to Address Obesity: A Global Perspective

Saturday, 29 July 2017: 9:50 AM

Juanita L. Wilson, DNP
Wilson Health Care Consulting, Fleetwood, PA, USA

Obesity is a growing global public health epidemic affecting all ages and socioeconomic groups. Commercial truck drivers (CTDs) have a greater obesity rate and decreased life expectancy compared to the general population. The nature of the commercial truck driving occupation places the truck driver at an increased risk for obesity. CTDs work sedentary jobs with long hours that pose barriers to eating healthy, regular exercise, and regular sleep patterns. The outcomes of a four-week evidenced-based practice (EBP) change project that utilized a motivational interviewing (MI) intervention and included diet and exercise education was found to have a positive impact on outcomes. MI has enabled individuals to evaluate personal ambivalence about healthy lifestyle choices thus, increasing self-efficacy to induce healthy diet and exercise behavior changes to promote weight loss. MI has been found to encourage behavior change by helping people understand the need to change in terms of lifestyle choices. MI has been supported in the literature as an intervention to increase one’s self-efficacy promoting weight loss.

There were two outcomes this evidence-based practice (EBP) change project measured and evaluated. The first outcome was an increase in weight loss measured by a reduction in body mass index (BMI). The second intended outcome was an increase in self-efficacy for healthy behavior change and weight loss as a result of a MI intervention. Data revealed an increase in group aggregate self-efficacy for weight loss by 14.8%, exceeding the benchmark of an 11%. An analysis of aggregate group BMI revealed CTDs lost a mean of 0.65 kg/m2, exceeding the benchmark of 0.5 kg/m2 to two pounds per week. The outcomes of this EBP change project suggests that MI was successful as a group, in helping CTDs increase their confidence for weight loss and for decreasing BMI (group aggregate benchmarks were met for both outcomes). The results suggest a short term MI intervention can be a cost-effective and easy to implement solution to mitigate obesity when implemented as a clinical standard for CTDs, as well as other populations.