Evaluation of therapist and client language in Motivational Interviewing (MI) sessions: A secondary analysis of data from the Southern Methodist Alcohol Research Trial (SMART) study
In the United States, “binge” drinking among college students is an emerging public health concern due to the significant physical and psychological effects on young adults. The focus is on identifying interventions that can help decrease high-risk drinking behavior among this group of drinkers. One such intervention is Motivational interviewing (MI), a client-centered therapy that aims at resolving client ambivalence by developing discrepancy and engaging the client in change talk. Of late, there is a growing interest in determining the active ingredients that influence the alliance between the therapist and the client. This study is a secondary analysis of the data obtained from the Southern Methodist Alcohol Research Trial (SMART) project, a dismantling trial of MI and feedback among heavy drinking college students. The present project examines the relationship between therapist and client language in MI sessions on a sample of “binge” drinking college students. Of the 126 SMART tapes, 30 tapes (‘MI with feedback’ group = 15, ‘MI only’ group = 15) were randomly selected for this study. MISC 2.1, a mutually exclusive and exhaustive coding system, was used to code the audio/videotaped MI sessions. Therapist and client language were analyzed for communication characteristics. Overall, therapists adopted a MI consistent style and clients were found to engage in change talk. Counselor acceptance, empathy, spirit, and complex reflections were all significantly related to client change talk (p-values ranged from 0.001 to 0.047). Additionally, therapist ‘advice without permission’ and MI Inconsistent therapist behaviors were strongly correlated with client sustain talk (p-values ranged from 0.006 to 0.048). Simple linear regression models showed a significant correlation between MI consistent (MICO) therapist language (independent variable) and change talk (dependent variable) and MI inconsistent (MIIN) therapist language (independent variable) and sustain talk (dependent variable). The study has several limitations such as small sample size, self-selection bias, poor inter-rater reliability for the global scales and the lack of a temporal measure of therapist and client language. Future studies might consider a larger sample size to obtain more statistical power. In addition the correlation between therapist language, client language and drinking outcome needs to be explored.
Chenenda Prabhu, Gangamma, "Evaluation of therapist and client language in Motivational Interviewing (MI) sessions: A secondary analysis of data from the Southern Methodist Alcohol Research Trial (SMART) study" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454138.