Brief Motivational Interviewing Training for Outreach in School Health Programming


  • Kathryn J. DeShaw
  • Laura D. Ellingson
  • Laura Liechty
  • Gabriella M. McLoughlin
  • Gregory J. Welk



This study assessed a brief 6-week motivational interviewing (MI) training program for extension field specialists (EFS) involved in supporting a statewide school wellness initiative called SWITCH. A total of 16EFS were instructed in MI principles to support the programming and half (n = 8) volunteered to participate in the hybrid (online and in-person) MI training program. Phone calls between EFS and school staff involved in SWITCH were recorded and coded using the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity (MITI) system to capture data on utilization of MI principles. Differences in MI utilization between the trained (n=8) and untrained (n=8) EFS were evaluated using Cohen’s d effect sizes. Results revealed large differences for technical global scores (d=1.5) and moderate effect sizes for relational global components (d=0.76) between the two groups. This naturalistic, quasi-experimental study indicates a brief MI training protocol is effective for teaching the spirit and relational components of MI to EFS.



How to Cite

DeShaw, K. J., Ellingson, L. D., Liechty, L., McLoughlin, G. M., & Welk, G. J. (2021). Brief Motivational Interviewing Training for Outreach in School Health Programming. American Journal of Health Studies, 36(1).