Exploring the effectiveness of motivational interviewing in re-engaging people diagnosed with severe psychiatric conditions in work, study, or community participation

Margaret E. Hampson*, Richard E. Hicks, Bruce D. Watt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Motivational interviewing has been used effectively to promote positive change in a variety of clinical settings. Several authors have suggested that motivational interviewing also be used to improve vocational outcomes among people living with a serious mental health condition. This study investigated the effectiveness of motivational interviewing in improving employment-related outcomes among people living with a persisting mental health condition. Twenty-six volunteers diagnosed with long-term mental health conditions were assigned to two groups: The experimental group received a brief motivational interviewing intervention while control group members were mailed information to assist them to return to paid or unpaid work. Both groups were followed up after 6 and 12 months to compare occupational outcomes. The results of this study revealed significantly higher rates of paid employment at 12-month follow-up among participants in the motivational interviewing group compared with the control group. The findings demonstrate that motivational interviewing might be worth exploring as a user-friendly intervention that can assist in improving vocational outcomes among people recovering from a serious mental health condition. Further research using a larger sample size is needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-279
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015


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