Motivational Interviewing: Supporting Patients in Health Behavior Change

Course Summary

1. Title: Motivational Interviewing:
Supporting Patients in Health Behavior Change

2. Keywords/Themes: Motivational
Interviewing (MI), Obesity, Health care practitioners, Expert-centered medical
model, Patient-centered model, open ended questions, reflective listening,
eliciting change talk, behavior change, and health behaviors

Course Description: This course is designed to equip healthcare providers and
ancillary staff with the knowledge and tools to optimize patient behavior
change to ultimately improve health outcomes. The following are the topics that
will be covered in this course:


Components of
Motivational Interviewing (MI)


Benefits of Using
Motivational Interviewing


Expert-Centered Model vs. MI Patient-Centered Model


Principles of MI


Readiness to Elicit
Change Talk

Script and narration for the presentation is
prepared by Dr. Rebecca Lang. There is a post-test at the end of the course.

Intended Audience: Any healthcare provider or ancillary staff that has direct
patient care, especially those in family and pediatric medicine.

5. Learning Objectives:

At the end of this
training module, you will be able to: 

  • Identify two
    components of motivational interviewing (MI).
  • Identify administrative
    benefits to using MI in a clinic setting.
  • Describe the
    difference between the traditional expert-centered medical model and the
    MI patient–centered model.
  • Discuss how
    the spirit of motivational interviewing supports patient-centered care.
  • Discuss four
    principles of motivational interviewing.
  • Describe how
    open ended questions, reflective listening, and eliciting change talk can
    help empower behavior change.
  • Apply the
    readiness scale in office visit to elicit change talk.
  • Identify key
    signals when they are connecting with patients.
  • Discuss the
    steps of the “less than 3 minutes” brief focused advice.

6. Pre-requisites/Learning Level: No pre-requisites

7. Competencies addressed: Communication Skills, Analytical/Assessment Skills, Policy Development/Program Planning skills, Leadership and Systems Thinking skills, 

8. CEUs Offered:

Physician Credit:

The University of Iowa Carver College of
Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA
Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the
extent of their participation in the activity.

Nursing Credit:

The Department of Human Services is an Iowa
Board of Nursing approved provider, issued Provider #94. This course has been
approved for .12 Nursing CEUs.

Dietitian Credit:

The Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
on behalf of the Commission on Dietetic Registration has approved this course
for 1.0 hours of CPEUs.


9. Cost: Free

10. Modality/format: Online Self-Pace

11. Length: 1 hour

12. Presenter(s) and/or Content Experts: Dr. Rebecca Lang

13. Technical requirements:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 
  • Flash Player 
  • Speakers

14. Registration requirements: Register a free account

15. Creation and/or update: November 12, 2012

The following organizations collaborated on the development of this course: Iowans Fit for Life, Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the University of Iowa College of Public Health, Institute for Public Health Practice (IPHP) and the Upper Midwest Public Health Training Center (UMPHTC).

Funding for the project was made available under Iowans Fit for Life (Cooperative Agreement U58/DP001386 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) at the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Health Systems. 

  • Iowans Fit for Life logo
  • Iowa Department of Public Health logo
  • Institute for Public Health Practice logo
  • Upper Midwest Public Health Training Center logo