Motivational Interviewing in Primary Care : Nurses´ experiences and actual use of the method

Abstract: Aim: The overall aim of the present thesis was to describe and examine primary care nurses´ self-reports on training, use and performance as well as experiences and actual performance of MI.Method: One qualitative and three quantitative studies were conducted among primary care nurses. A study-specific questionnaire was sent to 980 primary care nurses and 673 (69%) responded (Study I). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 MI trained primary care nurses (Study II). MI sessions between 12 (Study III) respective 23 (Study IV) primary care nurses and patients (total 32 respective 50 sessions) were audio-recorded. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis, Motivational Interviewing Integrity Code, Motivational Interviewing Sequential Code for Observing Process Exchanges and statistical analysis.Results: The findings showed that primary care nurses reported and experienced lack of training in MI and lack of prerequisites for using MI (Study I-II), while training, knowledge, prerequisites and time were associated with use of MI. They also reported and experienced that MI facilitated their work with patients (Study I-II) as well as elicited their own ability to motivate and be empathetic (Study II). About half of the primary care nurses reported that they used MI (Study I), and none of the nurses (Study III) achieved the approved skill levels in MI in their recorded sessions. They overestimated their performance on six of eight aspects of MI (Study III). The most frequently used nurse talk in the recorded sessions was neutral, which is not consistent with MI. Questions and reflections directed toward change were most likely to be followed by change talk among patients (Study IV).Conclusions: Self-reported knowledge about MI and personal as well as workplace prerequisites for using it were associated with self-reported use of MI. Participating nurses´ experienced that MI requires openness, practice, support, feedback and willingness. The participating primary care nurses did not achieve approved levels of MI skills in their recorded MI sessions. Patients´ change talk is more likely to occur after open questions, complex reflections as well as after questions and reflections directed toward change.

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