Motivational Interviewing for Behavior Change

As faith community nurses, we are in an ideal role to assist people with behavior change toward wholistic health using motivational interviewing.

Licensed photo courtesy BK

Licensed photo courtesy BK

One of the services most of us offer our faith communities is blood pressure screening, but you and I both know that this is much more than a screening.  It’s also an opportunity for health education and counseling for lifestyle change.  We raise awareness to the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, quitting smoking, and alcohol limitation for maintaining a normal blood pressure.

When someone comes to us and discovers, unbeknownst to them, that they have high blood pressure, they may be ready to change their behaviors to help themselves, and we can be right there with them all along the way.

Are you ready to coach them along?  Rather than wing it, it’s helpful to educate ourselves on how to do this.

Licensed photo courtesy BK

Licensed photo courtesy BK

Did you know that it is more effective to help people change behavior if you use an approach based in the Transtheoretical Model of Change, along with motivational interviewing?  This is the recommendation of the JNC7 (2004).

Licensed photo courtesy BK

Licensed photo courtesy BK

So, what is the Transtheoretical Model of Change and how do I provide motivational interviewing?

I have to admit…I’m a change theory nerd! I find it fascinating and just can’t get enough of it.  (Are there any other fans out there?)  This blog focuses on motivational interviewing, but for those interested, you can read more about the Transtheoretical Model of Change here! This is an example of how the model can be applied to smoking cessation (with diagrams of model application).

In this video, Dr. Bill Matulich describes the spirit of motivational interviewing (MI) as partnership, acceptance, compassion, and evocation, and he explains the core “OARS” skills for MI.  He helps us understand the four processes of MI using practical examples.

As you listen to him explain these concepts, I think you will agree that we do much of this on a regular basis as faith community nurses.

I’d like to believe that my strategies to help people change behavior are effective most of the time, but the truth is that I really don’t know.  (This is why I am on a mission to improve FCN documentation.)  Imagine how much more effective we can be at helping people change toward wholistic health with continuing education in evidence based approaches!

 Ready for some continuing education on motivational interviewing?

If you obtain CE from any of these, please let us know what you thought of the program in the comments below.

About courtholmes

Nurse Practitioner, Faith Community Nurse, Parish Nurse, Certified Wound Specialist, DNP Student at Quinnipiac University, Social Media Enthusiast... Passionate about integrating faith and health! CT Faith Community Nurses on Twitter @CTFCN

Posted on December 1, 2014, in Continuing Education, Professional Development and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thank you Courtney! Great information.


  2. Marcia Isherwood

    I have been using motivational interviewing as a health coaching strategy for several years now & find it a very effective approach in motivating change & empowering an individual. I am part of the Aurora Parish Nurse program in SE Wisconsin & several years ago we brought in a health coach expert to train our group in health coaching techniques, including the role of motivational interviewing. A few of us pursued additional CE on the topic as well. If you are not familiar with this evidence-based approach to health counseling, I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

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