Background: The exact link between the process engaged in during Motivational Interviewing based interventions, such as Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and outcome is yet to be fully understood. Aims: This preliminary study examined Client Language during MET and outcome. Method: A modified Motivational Interviewing Skills Code Version 2.0 was used to code 106 audiotaped MET sessions from 28 participants who received 3–4 sessions of MET within the context of a randomized controlled trial for mild-moderate alcohol dependence. Client Language was analyzed within sessions (categorized into Early, Mid, or End Intervals) and across sessions, and in relation to six month drinking outcome (drinking within/over national drinking guidelines, i.e. Remitted/Unremitted Drinkers). Results: Unremitted Drinkers uttered a significantly higher frequency of Sustain Talk, lower Ability Language strength (over all MET and during End Intervals), and lower Commitment Language strength (during Session 2 and 4, and change over MET). Conclusions: Notwithstanding limitations, this exploratory study was unique in examining the strength of Client Language within and across sessions. It produced potentially valuable findings that warrant further investigation including supporting the clinical benefit of monitoring Client Language to predict outcome.
(Online publication June 03 2010)
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