Implementation of motivational interviewing in substance use disorder treatment: Research network participation and organizational compatibility

Traci R. Rieckmann, Amanda J. Abraham, Brian E. Bride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite considerable empirical evidence that psychosocial interventions improve addiction treatment outcomes across populations, implementation remains problematic. A small body of research points to the importance of research network participation as a facilitator of implementation; however, studies examined limited numbers of evidence-based practices. To address this gap, the present study examined factors impacting implementation of motivational interviewing (MI). Methods: This study used data from a national sample of privately funded treatment programs (n=345) and programs participating in the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) (n=156). Data were collected via face-to-face interviews with program administrators and clinical directors (2007-2009). Analysis included bivariate t tests and chi-square tests to compare private and CTN programs, and multivariable logistic regression of MI implementation. Findings: A majority (68.0%) of treatment programs reported use of MI. Treatment programs participating in the CTN (88.9%) were significantly more likely to report use of MI compared with non-CTN programs (58.5%; P<0.01). CTN programs (82.1%) also were more likely to use trainers from the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers as compared with private programs (56.1%; P<0.05). Multivariable logistic regression models reveal that CTN-affiliated programs and programs with a psychiatrist on staff were more likely to use MI. Programs that used the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale assessment tool were more likely to use MI, whereas programs placing greater emphasis on confrontational group therapy were less likely to use MI. Discussion: Findings suggest the critical role of research network participation, access to psychiatrists, and organizational compatibility in adoption and sustained use of MI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-407
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of addiction medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016


  • Clinical trials network
  • Health services research
  • Implementation science
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Research network participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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