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Preparing Clients for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Randomized Pilot Study of Motivational Interviewing for Anxiety

Authors
  • Westra, Henny A.1
  • Dozois, David J. A.2
  • 1 York University, Department of Psychology, 239 BSB, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
  • 2 University of Western Ontario, Toronto, Canada , Toronto (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Publication Date
Aug 11, 2006
Volume
30
Issue
4
Pages
481–498
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10608-006-9016-y
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Although CBT is a well-supported treatment for anxiety, recovery rates and compliance with treatment procedures are less than optimal. Using adjunctive brief preparatory interventions may help bolster response rates and engagement with therapy procedures. Motivational Interviewing (MI: Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (1991, 2002). Motivational interviewing: preparing people to change addictive behavior. New York: Guilford) is a client-centered, directive method for enhancing motivation for change and has been demonstrated to be a valuable treatment prelude in the addictions domain. Prior to group cognitive behavioral therapy, 55 individuals with a principal anxiety diagnosis (45% panic disorder, 31% social phobia, and 24% generalized anxiety disorder) were randomly assigned to receive either three sessions of MI adapted for anxiety or no pretreatment (NPT). The MI pretreatment group, compared to NPT, showed significantly higher expectancy for anxiety control and greater homework compliance in CBT. Although both groups demonstrated clinically significant anxiety symptom improvements, the MI pretreatment group had a significantly higher number of CBT responders compared to NPT. At 6-month follow-up, both groups evidenced maintenance of gains. These results provide suggestive evidence that brief pretreatments, such as MI, may enhance engagement with and outcome from CBT. The promising results also justify the future investigation of these effects using more powerful designs which may discern whether the effects are specific to MI or to some type of pretreatment.

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