Evaluation of online and in-person motivational interviewing training for healthcare providers

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family Medicine | Medical Education | Preventive Medicine | Primary Care


INTRODUCTION: This study examines the outcomes of a 22-hr motivational interviewing (MI) course and compares online and in-person offerings of the course. It also evaluates clinicians' ability to accurately self-assess their MI skills.

METHOD: 34 clinicians participated in this study and completed MI workshops either in-person or online. Use of MI in an acting patient encounter was recorded early in the training and again following the training. Recordings of these encounters were coded using the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity (MITI) 3.1 coding system. After each acting patient encounter clinicians also self-evaluated their use of MI.

RESULTS: Participants showed statistically significant improvement in MI skills measured by the MITI. There were no meaningful differences between the MI skills acquired by the participants in the online group compared with those who completed training in-person. There was little correlation between participants' self-assessment of MI skills and objective assessment.

DISCUSSION: It is feasible to complete MI training through synchronous online workshops. Participant self-assessment of MI skill does not appear to be a useful approach for assessing MI skill. The acquisition of MI skills by health professionals is possible via the Internet. Learning should be assessed using objective measures rather than relying on self-report.


motivational interviewing, self-assessment, Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity, Internet, online

DOI of Published Version



Fam Syst Health. 2016 Dec;34(4):357-366. Epub 2016 Aug 29. doi: 10.1037/fsh0000214. Link to article on publisher's website

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Families, systems and health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID