Change talk sequence during brief motivational intervention, towards or away from drinking
Article first published online: 15 SEP 2010
© 2010 The Authors, Addiction © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 105, Issue 12, pages 2106–2112, December 2010
How to Cite
Bertholet, N., Faouzi, M., Gmel, G., Gaume, J. and Daeppen, J.-B. (2010), Change talk sequence during brief motivational intervention, towards or away from drinking. Addiction, 105: 2106–2112. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03081.x
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 15 SEP 2010
- Submitted 18 May 2009; initial review completed 17 July 2009; final version accepted 28 April 2010
- at-risk drinking;
- attitudes regarding changing drinking;
- brief motivational intervention;
- change talk sequence;
- hidden Markov Model
Aim To investigate whether different sequences of ‘change talk’ utterances within a brief motivational intervention (BMI) are associated with drinking outcomes.
Design Speech content analysis of recorded BMI.
Setting BMI delivered in an emergency department for at-risk drinking.
Participants Ninety-seven subjects who received a BMI.
Measurements Ninety-seven BMI were coded in duplicate by two psychologists with the Motivational Interviewing Skill Code (MISC), a Hidden Markov Model was used to identify three different patient states reflecting attitudes regarding changing their drinking behaviour within a BMI: towards change, away from change and non-determined. Adjusted regression models were used to predict drinking at 12 months' follow-up using patient attitudes regarding changing drinking at the beginning, during the intervention and at the end.
Findings The dynamic process at place within a BMI was marked mainly by stability: at each point during the intervention, staying in the same attitude was far more likely than transitioning from one attitude to another. When subjects did change from one attitude to another, they were more likely to move from an ‘away from change’ to a ‘towards change’ state. At 12 months, subjects with an attitude towards change at the end of the BMI drank significantly less (13.1 drinks per week) than subjects with an attitude away from change, independent of their attitude at the beginning of the intervention.
Conclusions Transition in ‘change talk’ between ‘away from change’ and ‘towards change’ appears to be rare in brief motivational intervention for excessive alcohol consumption. Moreover, change talk ‘towards change’ at the end of the intervention is associated with improved outcomes at follow-up, independently of the type of change talk at the beginning of the intervention, suggesting that it is important to end a BMI session with a positive attitude towards change by the client.