Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to change by exploring and resolving ambivalence. MI is a method that has been subjected to clinical trials for a wide range of behavior-change problems. MI works by activating the patient’s own motivation for change and adherence to treatment. The starting point for MI is that motivation for change is actually quite malleable and is particularly formed in the context of relationships. The way in which patients are approached can substantially influence their motivation for personal behavior change.
The Spirit of MI
The “spirit” of MI has been described as collaborative, evocative, and honoring of patient autonomy.
Further information on Motivational Interviewing can be found at www.motivationalinterviewing.org and in the book especially written for the dental practice: Health behavior change in the dental practice.9 The evidence base for successful behavior change is continually expanding, and adopting current science will tip the balance in favor of success, bringing greater satisfaction to both the healthcare professional and the patient.
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