Computer Adapted Standardized Patient Instrument for MI Skills Assessment

Period of Performance: 05/01/2009 - 10/31/2011


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Talaria, Inc.
Seattle, WA 98122
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There is a great need to facilitate dissemination of empirically based methods in addiction treatment. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an empirically supported therapeutic approach developed by Miller and Rollnick (1991, 2002). Although there is high demand for MI training, there is a lack of low-cost, reliable, and ecologically valid assessment methods for evaluating training needs and outcomes (Baer et al., 2004). In the current application, the investigators propose to develop and validate a novel method of assessing clinician skill with MI by creating a Computer-Adapted Standardized Patients Instrument (CASPI) with the potential to be used in any setting with a personal computer. The product would provide a widely accessible and cost- efficient alternative to existing methods of clinician MI skill assessment. If successful, the CASPI methodology could be developed for many empirically derived treatments. Methods to accurately assess clinician skills at modest costs should greatly facilitate dissemination of research-based interventions. In Phase I, we developed a prototype of the CASPI and conducted a pilot evaluation of usability, reliability, and concurrent validity with 23 addictions treatment professionals. Results showed that CASPI was well-received overall by providers, and has excellent internal reliability and highly encouraging preliminary concurrent validity with other established measures. In Phase II, we will develop a second form of the CASPI, build a computer-assisted scoring interface, and conduct a randomized study of the revised CASPI to evaluate it as an index of training outcomes. In addition, construct validity will be established in comparison with tapes of standardized patient encounters. The research and development team has extensive experience with MI and with technology applications for training in academic and small business contexts. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Low cost methods for the assessment of clinician skills are greatly needed to facilitate adoption of evidenced-based practice. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is empirically- based, effective, and a very popular therapeutic modality for substance abuse treatment. This project will develop a computer-based MI skills assessment instrument, which will be useful to MI trainers, training programs, treatment agencies, and researchers.