Motivational Interviewing as an Adjunct to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety
Barrera, Terri Lynn 1984-
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Numerous studies support the efficacy of CBT for the treatment of anxiety, yet 15-50% of patients fail to respond to this treatment. These non-response rates indicate there is room to improve our current treatments. One proposed method to enhance response is to include Motivational Interviewing (MI) as an adjunct to CBT. Preliminary studies of MI as a pretreatment to CBT indicate that this combination intervention leads to increased treatment expectancies, greater homework compliance, and improved outcomes (Westra, Arkowitz, & Dozois, 2009). However, these promising results have not been replicated across treatment settings or multiple providers, and have not been tested against a control condition. Furthermore, the dose of MI in these studies (3-4 50 minute sessions) may be burdensome in many clinical settings because of the additional cost and resources required for delivery. The development of an abbreviated pretreatment MI intervention would reduce treatment costs and facilitate dissemination to community practice. The current study examined the effects of a single Motivational Interviewing pretreatment session to a standard CBT protocol for anxiety as compared to CBT only. Participants in the MI condition were more likely to initiate CBT and had greater expectances for symptom improvement following treatment. The overall pattern of results suggest that a single MI pretreatment session may have positive effects on treatment engagement; however future studies are needed to further test this intervention.