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The University of Southampton

NQCG3134 Motivational Interviewing in the Service of Health Promotion

Module Overview

The module aims to develop knowledge and skills that serve to promote and maintain health by: encouraging patients to take more responsibility for their own health; promoting patient engagement with healthcare; and enhancing motivation for sustained health behaviour change. The Department of Health has recognised that health professionals have many opportunities to engage with individuals and propose that ‘every contact counts’, i.e. health should be promoted at every patient contact. The focus of the module therefore will be on developing skills that can be used both opportunistically as well as with help seeking patients. The module takes an interpersonal perspective on patient engagement and motivation and explores how practitioner behaviour influences outcome. You will have the opportunity to explore your attitudes and beliefs and evaluate how your behaviour can assist or undermine engagement and change. The module also provides opportunities to practice the skills involved in evidence–based approaches such as motivational interviewing.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Be able to describe the fundamental spirit and processes of a health promoting approach
  • Be able to evaluate motivational interviewing outcome and process research
  • Have practised a range of skills, which aim to promote engagement with healthcare and enhance patient motivation for sustained health behaviour change
  • Articulate fundamental client language cues that provide immediate feedback and allow continued on-going learning in practice
  • Reflect critically on approaches taken to promote engagement and motivation in your own routine practice


Indicative content • Humanistic psychology – skills from client-centred counselling, self-determination theory • Motivational interviewing – theory, research, skills and integration within routine practice • Cognitive-behavioural informed strategies • Working with small groups and/or families to promote health and encourage health behaviour change • Self-reflection on practice, values and attitudes

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• Short lectures • Video analysis • Experiential and skills building exercises with opportunities for feedback and coaching • Discussion • Simulated clinical interview: During the module, students will be encouraged to record a simulated clinical interview lasting approximately 15 minutes with an actor from the Patient Simulation Programme (organised and managed by the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust). This will provide an opportunity to try out some of the skills that they learn through the module. Students will then systematically analyse the skills used and the strength of the relationship they form with their ‘patient’. The reflection serves to highlight strengths and serves to inform on-going development needs. • Blackboard based directed study tasks (skills exercises, quizzes and reflections on video clips) that students undertake prior to and after teaching sessions to prepare, consolidate and develop understanding/skills. • Assessment briefing (academic level specific)

Preparation for scheduled sessions220
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Rollnick, S., Miller, W. R., & Butler, C. C. (2008). Motivational Interviewing in Health Care: Helping Patients Change Behaviour. 

Vansteenkiste, M. (2006). There's nothing more practical than a good theory: integrating motivational interviewing and self-determination theory. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. ,45 , pp. 63-82.

Hettema, J., Steele, J., & Miller, W. R. (2005). Motivational interviewing. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. ,1 , pp. 91-111.

Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change. 

Truax, C. B., & Carkhuff, R. R. (2008). Toward Effective Counseling and Psychotherapy: Training and Practice. 

Lundahl BW, Kunz C, Brownell C, Tollefson D and Burke BL (2010). A meta-analysis of motivational interviewing: Twenty-five years of empirical studies. Research on Social Work Practice. ,20 , pp. 137-160.

Apodaca, T. R., & Longabaugh, R. (2009). Mechanisms of change in motivational interviewing: a review and preliminary evaluation of the evidence. Addiction. ,104 , pp. 705-715.

Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2009). Ten things that motivational interviewing is not.. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. ,37 , pp. 129-140.

Miller, W. R., & Rose, G. S (2009). Toward a theory of motivational interviewing. Toward a theory of motivational interviewing. ,64 , pp. 527-537.

Miller, W. R., & Moyers, T., B. (2007). Eight stages in learning motivational interviewing. Journal of Teaching in the Addictions. ,5 , pp. 3 -17.



Simulated Clinical Interview and reflection


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

The activities and resources involved in the module are covered by the programme/module costs. The key texts and articles are available through the library, and video material is provided via Blackboard. Students may wish to purchase their own copies of books and video material, but this is not a requirement.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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