Motivational Interviewing Prior to Discharge Improves Outpatient Treatment Attendance


Recently, the New York State Office of Mental Health provided slides regarding the importance of understanding, and preventing behavioral health inpatient readmissions. One factor discussed was the impact motivational interviewing has on attendance to outpatient clinic.

Randomized trial of 121 psychiatric inpatients showed that adding a one hour motivational
interview prior to discharge was significantly associated with attendance at first outpatient appointment compared to Treatment as Usual. (Swanson, 1999)

Our research has shown that an individual’s connection to outpatient treatment has a profound impact on their continued community tenure. Yet, behavioral barriers (feeling hopeless about the diagnosis or treatment, depression, etc) impact the likelihood an individual will remain connected to outpatient clinic. Motivational Interviewing (MI) can be an effective method for the healthcare industry to overcome barriers to effective treatment and engagement with services.

To learn more about this effective technique, go to the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), or the Center of Evidence-Based Practice page on MI. If you’re interested in gaining skills in this non-judgemental, non-confrontational approach to various forms of behavior change, check out the description of our online course that we developed with Dr. Jonathan Fader. You can sign up to take the course easily, and quickly from there. Also, if you’re trying not to eat cake, DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK.