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An evaluation of workshop training in motivational interviewing for oral health counsellors

Joseph Raheb, Peter Arrow.

The aim of the study was to describe the findings of workshop training of clinical and non–clinical oral health personnel in a motivational interviewing (MI) approach to oral health counselling. A two–day workshop was conducted to provide training in MI as part of the training for a randomised controlled trial. The training involved a series of short presentations covering the principles, practice and the ‘spirit’ of the MI approach, structured practice exercises and role–play demonstrations. Participants (n=10) undertook structured practice exercises in the use of open–ended questions, non–verbal listening and reflective skills, summaries and affirmations in MI. Trainees then undertook simulated parent practice exercises using role–play with performance feedback and MI with parents of preschool children in a dental care setting. The workshop was evaluated using a knowledge–based questionnaire, trainer evaluation and a Helpful Response Questionnaire. Data were analysed using the paired t–test and the Wilcoxon Signed Rank test. Mean MI knowledge (from 4.3±1.5 to 6.4±1.4, p < 0.01) and Helpful Response Questionnaire scores (from 6.9 to 11.3, p < 0.01) significantly improved. The two–day workshop improved knowledge in MI and empathy among participants.

Key words: Motivational Interviewing, Oral Health Counselling, Early Childhood Caries

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