Professionalizing care workers: Outcomes of a ‘Motivational Interviewing’ Training in residential youth care

Eenshuistra, A., Harder, A. T. & Knorth, E. J., 24-Mar-2020, In : Residential Treatment for Children and Youth. p. 1-21 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Behavioral change in adolescents is often an important aim of residential youth care, but difficult to achieve. Care workers can increase the intrinsic motivation of adolescents to change their behavior by applying Motivational Interviewing (MI). The aim of this study is to investigate whether there is a difference in care workers’ performance vis-à-vis adolescents before and after a MI training course. To measure this difference, we coded transcripts of audio recordings of one-on-one conversations between adolescents and care workers, using the MITI 4.2.1 and MISC 2.5. We compared the transcripts made before the MI training course with the transcripts made after the training course, using behavior counts and State Space Grids. The participants consisted of 13 residential workers. The results show that the workers made significantly more use of MI adherent behaviors after the training course. Moreover, a trend towards using fewer MI non-adherent behaviors after the training was observed. The majority of workers did not, or only marginally met two basic MI-competences: the percentage of “complex reflections” and the ratio between the number of reflections made and questions raised. The results suggest that residential workers are able to provoke more “change talk” and less “sustain talk” with adolescents after a training course. In conclusion, after attending a training course, residential workers are able to engage in conversations that are more in line with the MI spirit. However, these are still not “real” MI conversations yet. We recommend to train workers more intensively in how to apply MI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalResidential Treatment for Children and Youth
Early online date24-Mar-2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24-Mar-2020

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