Preparing clients for cognitive behavioral therapy: A randomized pilot study of motivational interviewing for anxiety

TitlePreparing clients for cognitive behavioral therapy: A randomized pilot study of motivational interviewing for anxiety
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsWestra, HA, Dozois, DJA
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Place PublishedGermany
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0147-59161573-2819
Accession Number2007-02572-006. First Author & Affiliation: Westra, Henny A.
KeywordsAnxiety, cognitive behavior therapy, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Motivation, motivational interviewing, pretreatment preparation, Psychodiagnostic Interview, treatment compliance, Treatment Planning

Although CBT is a well-supported treatment for anxiety, recovery rates and compliance with treatment procedures are less than optimal. Using adjunctive brief preparatory interventions may help bolster response rates and engagement with therapy procedures. Motivational Interviewing (MI: Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (1991, 2002). Motivational interviewing: preparing people to change addictive behavior. New York: Guilford) is a client-centered, directive method for enhancing motivation for change and has been demonstrated to be a valuable treatment prelude in the addictions domain. Prior to group cognitive behavioral therapy, 55 individuals with a principal anxiety diagnosis (45% panic disorder, 31% social phobia, and 24% generalized anxiety disorder) were randomly assigned to receive either three sessions of MI adapted for anxiety or no pretreatment (NPT). The MI pretreatment group, compared to NPT, showed significantly higher expectancy for anxiety control and greater homework compliance in CBT. Although both groups demonstrated clinically significant anxiety symptom improvements, the MI pretreatment group had a significantly higher number of CBT responders compared to NPT. At 6-month follow-up, both groups evidenced maintenance of gains. These results provide suggestive evidence that brief pretreatments, such as MI, may enhance engagement with and outcome from CBT. The promising results also justify the future investigation of these effects using more powerful designs which may discern whether the effects are specific to MI or to some type of pretreatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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