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Office of Continuing Professional Development

Basic Skills and Clinical Applications of Motivational Interviewing


Basic Skills and Clinical Applications of Motivational Interviewing:
A Program for Primary Care Practices Seeking Patient-centered
Medical Home Certification

Research has shown that training physicians in communication skills results in significant improvements in patient adherence to treatment recommendations. Motivational interviewing (MI) has been found to be an important and effective way for healthcare providers such as physicians, nurses, social workers and counselors to speak with their patients about behavioral change. It has been shown to be effective with patients who aim to engage in smoking cessation, weight loss, exercise, and comply with prescribed medication regimens.

This online activity consists of two-30 minute modules including an overview presentation and instructional videos designed to teach healthcare practitioners how to employ motivational interviewing techniques to help their patients change health behaviors. Specifically, the program will address four different problems which negatively affect health: Non-adherence to treatment guidelines, poor eating habits, and lack of exercise and smoking. The activity will also provide scenarios that demonstrate how MI is used in the clinical setting.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

1) Identify key differences between motivational interviewing and traditional techniques used to facilitate behavioral change with patients.
2) Summarize the role of ambivalence as it relates to changing health behaviors and list the stages of behavioral change.
3) Assess communication strategies currently used when interacting with patients who are contemplating behavioral change and determine whether or not the provider is employing motivational interviewing techniques.
4) Employ motivational interviewing effectively with patients who are in need of or considering smoking cessation, weight loss, or have medication adherence issues.

Target Audience

Physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers.


Michael Bierer, MD, MPH

Registration Information

This activity is free of charge.

For questions, contact Partners Office of Continuing Professional Development at

Provided by:

Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare System
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CME Information

Original Release Date:February12, 2013
Latest Review:Robert Birnbaum, MD, PhD, on February 16, 2018
Expiration Date: February 16, 2019

To receive credit for this activity, view the presentation and complete the post-test and activity evaluation.

Partners HealthCare System is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Partners HealthCare System designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other Professions:
This course allows other providers to claim a Participation Certificate upon successful completion of this course. Participation Certificates will specify the title, location, type of activity, date of activity, and number of AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM associated with the activity. Providers should check with their regulatory agencies to determine ways in which AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM may or may not fulfill continuing education requirements. Providers should also consider saving copies of brochures, agenda, and other supporting documents.

Faculty DisclosureStatement
In accord with the disclosure policy of Partners HealthCare System as well as guidelines of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), planners, speakers and/or their spouse/partner or anyone who may have an influence on the content of the activity have been asked to disclose any relationship they or their spouse/partner have to companies producing pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, devices, etc. that may be germane to the content of their presentation. Such disclosure is not intended to suggest or condone bias, but provides participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a given presentation.

Resolution of Conflicts of Interest (COI)
Partners HealthCare System has implemented a process to resolve potential COIs for this CME activity to help ensure content objectivity, independence, fair balance and ensure that the content is aligned with the interest of the public.

The following planners and/or their spouse/partners have no relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest:
Tristan Gorrindo, MD, PastReviewer
Rose Desilets
Kathryn Horne, MPH
Mary McAdams, RN

The following planners and/or their spouse/partner has reported a relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest:
Michael Bierer, MD, MPH
Consulting: Informed Medical Decisions Foundation

Robert Birnbaum, MD, PhD, Reviewer
Editor: UpToDate

Consultant: Knowledge Factor

The following speakers and/or their spouse/partners have no relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest:
Lydia Chevalier
Brendan McGee

The following speaker and/or their spouse/partner has reported a relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest:
Michael Bierer, MD, MPH
Consulting: Informed Medical Decisions Foundation

Hardware/Software Specifications:
This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.
Optimal System Configuration: Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher
Minimum Requirements:
Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

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