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Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003 Jun;2(3):166-72.

Motivational techniques for improving compliance with an exercise program: skills for primary care clinicians.

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Department of Human Performance & Development, University of New Mexico, 1155 Johnson Center, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.


Motivating patients to adopt a healthful treatment plan during brief office visits is a major challenge facing health care providers. Therefore, effective communication strategies that can be successfully employed during time-pressured consultations are worthy of consideration. Traditional approaches to patient care often rely on advice-giving and direct persuasion. Motivational interviewing is an alternate style of communication that has demonstrated success with very resistant clients, such as those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. More recent adaptations of this approach to medical settings have been effective in improving a wide range of problem behaviors, including physical inactivity. This motivational approach is well suited to the daily practice of a busy primary care clinic, where improved patient compliance is a priority. Skillful application by a clinician provides the platform for patients to talk about change instead of exhibiting resistance. Consequently, clinical consultations are not only more effective, but also less frustrating for the provider.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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