Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 12, December 2009

Influencing behaviour change in general practice Part 2 – motivational interviewing approaches

Eric Khong Moira G Sim Toni Wain
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Behaviour change toward achieving a healthy lifestyle is important for all Australians, and general practitioners have a key role to play in assisting patients to make these changes.
This is the second of two articles on influencing behaviour change in general practice. This article deals with the ‘how to’ of motivational interviewing in the general practice setting.
Motivational interviewing can help build motivation, commitment and confidence to change. General practitioners can use motivational interviewing to help their patients achieve their health goals. Motivational interviewing is not about a set of techniques and questions; it is about creating a climate that facilitates change; it is more about listening than telling, evoking rather than instilling. Motivational interviewing can be done in the brief periods available in consultations over time.

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