Team-based Care Pharmacists Motivational Interviewing

Programs & Initiatives in Health Care
Team-based Care

Pharmacists – Motivational Interviewing

Foundations of Motivational Interviewing, offered through Continuing Pharmacy Education at the University of Minnesota, is an online activity that teaches pharmacists motivational interviewing techniques. Community pharmacists can use these communication tools to help patients improve self-management of chronic diseases. The Minnesota Department of Health and the University of Minnesota jointly piloted this course in 2016 to enhance the practice skills of pharmacists and fill a critical knowledge gap. The pilot training introduced motivational interviewing to 75 community-based pharmacists from across the state.

The next session of Foundations of Motivational Interviewing will be offered March 20 – April 22, 2017. Exact dates for July 2017 and October 2017 offerings will be announced in late spring and summer, respectively.

The training concentrates on five key objectives:

  1. Define the philosophy and role of motivational interviewing.
  2. Explain the benefits of using motivational interviewing in the community setting.
  3. Recognize the patient's motivation to change by gauging his or her confidence and readiness to change, and the importance of change
  4. Identify techniques of motivational interviewing such as using open-ended questions, affirmation, reflection, and summarization.
  5. Demonstrate skills and techniques of motivational interviewing using case examples.

After the training, participants reported an improved ability to perform key motivational interviewing techniques such as using open-ended questions, affirmation, reflection, and summarization to draw out change talk.


Participants commented on their ability to use motivational interviewing skills after the training and the ways it has changed their practice:

“I feel more comfortable conversing with patients instead of me telling them what is best.”

“I am able to identify some change talk and try to formulate questions and statements based on that information. I am trying to implement more open ended questions and determine strategies to help my patients facilitate change.”

“Sometimes, I didn't know how to respond to negative comments patients would make. Now I can identify them as a way to use MI.”

“[The training] helped me understand how to phrase statements and express empathy to help patients who are in the midst of change.”

“Through motivational interviewing, I can have a greater and more powerful influence on my patients by helping them want to better themselves.”

For more information about Motivational Interviewing for pharmacists, contact Jim Peacock (651) 201-5405.