Motivational Interviewing for Smoking Cessation

Period of Performance: 09/06/2000 - 08/31/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Talaria, Inc.
Seattle, WA 98122
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION: We know that brief interventions lasting 3 minutes or less can help smokers quit more effectively. Despite this, most clinicians (physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, etc.) do not conduct smoking cessation interventions in the course of their practice. Lack of clinician knowledge and skills about smoking cessation, and smokers' resistance to quitting are major barriers to better practice. Motivational Interviewing (MI) tailors interventions to address patient readiness to change and overcome resistance. In this way, the right intervention is delivered at the right time. MIRIS, an internet-based training program, teaches clinicians MI for smoking cessation. This is accomplished through simulated interviews in which clinicians interact with computer-modeled patients. In MIRIS simulations, learners are questioned about their actions and understanding of the assessment and intervention process and then given targeted feedback. After acquiring basic knowledge, learners respond to simulated patients by speaking aloud in real time. These oral practice sessions may help clinicians break the "speaking barrier" that can inhibit use of unpracticed skills. We hypothesize that learners trained with MIRIS will evidence improved MI skills, reducing the knowledge barrier for clinicians and preparing them for encounters with patients who are resistant to change.