Influencing Behaviour Change in General Practice: Part 2-Motivational Interviewing Approaches

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine / Systems and Intervention Research Centre for Health




This article was originally published as: Sim, M. G., Wain, T., & Khong, E. (2009). Influencing behaviour change in general practice: Part 2-motivational interviewing approaches. Australian Family Physician, 38(12), 986-989. Original article available here


Behaviour change toward achieving a healthy lifestyle is important for all Australians, and general practitioners have a key role to play in assisting patients to make these changes. This is the second of two articles on influencing behaviour change in general practice. This article deals with the 'how to' of motivational interviewing in the general practice setting. Motivational interviewing can help build motivation, commitment and confidence to change. General practitioners can use motivational interviewing to help their patients achieve their health goals. Motivational interviewing is not about a set of techniques and questions; it is about creating a climate that facilitates change; it is more about listening than telling, evoking rather than instilling. Motivational interviewing can be done in the brief periods available in consultations over time.

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