A Glaucoma-Specific Brief Motivational Interviewing Training Program for Ophthalmology Para-professionals: Assessment of Feasibility and Initial Patient Impact

Paula Anne Newman-Casey, Olivia Killeen, Sarah Miller, Chamisa MacKenzie, Leslie M. Niziol, Ken Resnicow, John W. Creswell, Paul Cook, Michele Heisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Our objective was to test the feasibility of, fidelity to, and initial impact of a brief, glaucoma-specific motivational interviewing (MI) training program for ophthalmic para-professionals. This prospective, mixed-methods study had two components, one for staff and one for patients. Staff fidelity to MI principles was graded through audio-recorded encounters after initial and final training sessions. After training, patients graded staff for adherence to autonomy supportive care. Semi-structured interviews with para-professionals elicited feedback about the training and about their ability to implement MI in the clinic. The impact on patient satisfaction with staff communication, eye drop instillation self-efficacy, and overall health activation was assessed using a survey pre- and post-training. Para-professionals met two of three program goals for MI skills and improved in their overall scores for MI fidelity. Para-professionals noted lack of time in the clinic as a significant barrier to implementing counseling. Patient satisfaction with staff communication increased after the training (p = 0.04) among patients who rated their staff above the mean for providing autonomy supportive care. The intervention did not improve patients’ eye drop instillation self-efficacy or overall health activation. Training para-professional staff in brief, glaucoma-specific MI techniques is feasible and may improve patient satisfaction, though dedicated time in clinic is needed to implement MI counseling into glaucoma practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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