Motivational interviewing with families in the home environment Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: This study explored the feasibility and acceptability of using Motivational Interviewing (MI) in the home setting with families of preschoolers. METHODS: Using mixed-methods pilot data from an MI-based obesity prevention intervention delivered via home visits by health educators (HEs) with 44 families (n = 17 four home visit group; n = 14 two home visit group), we examined: 1) fidelity of MI adherence by HEs; 2) parents' perceptions of the intervention; and 3) HEs insights pertaining to the intervention's delivery. RESULTS: Multiple measures of MI fidelity were deemed to exceed defined proficiency levels. Ninety-three percent of families reported being "satisfied" to "very satisfied" with the intervention. HEs reported building a high level of trust with families and gaining a thorough understanding of familial context. Parents appreciated how HEs' were knowledgeable and provided personalized attention when discussing health goals. Some parents suggested more directive advice and follow-up visits as ways to improve the intervention. CONCLUSION: Home-based MI was conducted with a high level of fidelity, was well accepted by families and practitioners. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Our findings from parents and MI practitioners provide key learnings that can inform future behavior change interventions that propose to use MI within the home setting.


  • O’Kane, Carley
  • Irwin, Jennifer D
  • Morrow, Don
  • Tang, Lisa
  • Wong, Samantha
  • Buchholz, Andrea
  • Ma, David WL
  • Haines, Jess

publication date

  • November 2019