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Brief Motivational Interventions: An Introduction

Field, Craig PhD, MPH; Hungerford, Daniel W. DrPH; Dunn, Chris PhD

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery: September 2005 - Volume 59 - Issue 3 - p S21-S26
doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000179899.37332.8a

This article is an introduction to brief motivational interventions, which is an effective strategy to address alcohol-use disorders and the public health issues these disorders present. In this article, we summarize core concepts and our clinical experiences. To explore the contrast between these interventions and more traditional approaches to patient-provider interaction, the article describes strategies used in brief motivational interventions, answers common questions about the process, and provides references and resources for those who would like to learn more.

From the University of Texas School of Public Health, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas (C.F.), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (D.W.H.), and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (C.D.)

Submitted for publication February 2, 2005.

Accepted for publication February 21, 2005.

This article was written for the proceedings from a conference called Alcohol Problems among Hospitalized Trauma Patients: Controlling Complications, Mortality, and Trauma Recidivism in Arlington, Virginia, May 28–30, 2003. It does not reflect the official policy or opinions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and does not constitute an endorsement of the individuals or their programs—by CDC, HHS, or the federal government— and none should be inferred.

Address for reprints: Craig Field, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, University of Texas School of Public Health, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., V.8, Room 106B, Dallas, TX 75390-9128; email:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.