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J Grad Med Educ. 2014 Dec;6(4):765-9. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-14-00288.1.

Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), and Motivational Interviewing for PGY-1 Medical Residents.



Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) for alcohol use in primary care-often using motivational interviewing (MI)-is an effective preventive service. Medical residency programs have begun offering training in these areas, but little research has been conducted to examine the impact of SBIRT/MI training length on residents' satisfaction, affect, and behavioral intentions.


We measured residents' satisfaction with their training in addition to variables shown in previous research to predict medical professionals' intention to perform SBIRT.


This study focused on 2 SBIRT/MI training structures: a 4- to 6-hour training using didactic, experiential, and interactive methods and a brief 1-hour session explaining the same principles in a noninteractive format. Immediately following each training intervention, participating residents from internal medicine (IM), pediatrics (PEDS), medicine-pediatrics (IM-PEDS), and emergency medicine (EM) programs completed a 22-item instrument derived from established questionnaires; responses to each item were dichotomized, and comparisons were conducted between the training groups using Fisher exact test.


Of 80 participating residents, 59 IM, PEDS, and IM-PEDS residents completed the longer training, and 21 EM residents completed the shorter training. All participating residents reported high levels of satisfaction, although EM residents were comparatively less satisfied with their shorter training session.


Both SBIRT/MI training structures were feasible and were accepted by learners, although the 2 groups' perceptions of the training differed. Future research into the underlying causes of these differences may be useful to the application of SBIRT/MI training during residency.

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