Objectives: Motivational interviewing (MI) is a research-supported, patient-centered counseling technique to support health behavior change. We evaluated training to help teachers use MI for oral health promotion in a multi-site, diverse, urban Head Start organization.
Methods: MI training was evaluated based on the intervention's reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance.
Results: MI was introduced to 150 Head Start staff and 32 received intensive training. Trainees had greater knowledge and willingness to use MI 6 months after training than non-trained staff, and reported increased use of MI-consistent counseling techniques. Additionally, the rate of completed dental visits improved slightly across all families served by this Head Start program after teachers used MI with a subset of families. Maintenance is likely based on ongoing organizational interest.
Conclusions: Trainees reported successfully using MI techniques in this community-based educational setting. Additional efforts are needed to increase the reach of training and to ensure sustainability.