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Australas Psychiatry. 2012 Apr;20(2):138-42. doi: 10.1177/1039856212437257. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Applying Motivational Interviewing to the initiation of long-acting injectable atypical antipsychotics.

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  • 1School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.



Non-concordance with pharmacotherapy is common in psychiatric patients. Long-acting injectable atypical antipsychotic (LAI AA) medication may improve adherence but patients and clinicians may be reluctant to consider this alternative. This paper describes the application of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to the commencement of LAI AA.


We developed a workshop applying the principles of MI to address medication adherence through the use of LAIs. This includes a training video to illustrate the following motivational techniques, as summarised by the acronym OARS: (a) Open questions; (b) Affirmation of patients' self-efficacy and support; (c) Reflections of patients' thoughts, desires, abilities, reasons, needs, and commitments; (d) Summaries of the patient's history to promote consideration of change.


We delivered four workshops across Canada. Results of feedback (n=25) were encouraging.


Motivational Interviewing has many applications in psychiatric care for engagement in treatment, reduction in alcohol or substance misuse, and improving medication acceptance and adherence. Further research is required to assess whether changes in physicians' views are reflected in improved adherence.

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