University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Addiction Medicine/ Behavioral Health


Mark Archambault DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA



Purpose: To examine the effectiveness of health professions student-led motivational interviewing for patients with substance use disorders (SUD).

Methods: This literature review looked at data from four articles. A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms: ("motivational interview*" OR "Motivational Interviewing[MeSH]") AND (Student* OR "Students, Health Occupations"[Mesh]). This yielded 378 results. Following application of all inclusion and exclusion criteria, three published studies remained.

Results: There were usable data from all three studies. The median number of patients studied was 97.6. All three studies looked at different variables after a brief motivational interview for a patient’s SUD. These variables included whether the patient (1) felt motivated to cut back or quit their substance, (2) was willing to have further discussion about their SUD, (3) was open for a referral to a specialist, and (4) was willing to consider medication assisted treatment. The studies revealed favorable patient outcomes following brief student-led motivational interviewing.

Conclusion: It is feasible for health professions students trained in motivational interviewing to perform successful behavior change counseling with patients. Student contribution as part of the team would be a valuable resource for patients, public health, and clinicians/preceptors. Future research should examine the sustainability of the intervention effect over time, how to ensure continuity of care, and how it affects other clinical outcomes.


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