When the Right Measure Doesn’t Exist: A Novel Motivational Interviewing Tool for Community Programs


This report describes the reliability and validity of the Motivational Interviewing Evaluation Rubric (MIER). The MIER is a novel MI evaluation tool for use in supervision with community-based providers. In the MIER, there are 15 items targeting the following sub-dimensions: Spirit (four items), Process (six items), and Skills (five items). Two raters engaged in 10 h of training and practice on the use of the MIER. Data were session audio-files from youth justice program providers. Inter-rater reliability results showed good performance for the measure. Specifically, 2-way mixed Intraclass Coefficients were excellent, ranging from 0.81 to 0.92 for sub-dimension scores, and Kappa ratings per item were fair to substantial (k =  0.35 to 0.87). Internal consistency reliability for Spirit, Process, and Skills scores ranged from a = .72 to 0.78. In concurrent validity analyses, MIER sub-dimension scores were positively and moderately correlated with relevant Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity (4.2) criterion scores (rs = .45 to 0.67; p < .005). The MIER is a promising observational measure for guiding supervision in community youth programs.

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We would like to specifically acknowledge Elizabeth Zarate and Jada Nyankson for their heartfelt work on this project, along with the staff at Southwest Key Programs Milwaukee. We would also like to acknowledge those who supported the initial work, Hillary England and DeAna Swan, and to Cassandra Harper and Justin Walthers who helped with project management and assisted with data collection, respectively. Lastly, thanks to Matthea Marquart for introducing Dr. Magill to our community-based work.


Dr. Magill was paid a consultation fee by Southwest Key Programs Inc.

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Correspondence to Johanna Creswell Báez.

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Dr. Baez was employed at Southwest Key Programs Inc. for part of this research project and Rachel Galanis was a Clinical Director at Southwest Key Programs Inc. during this research project.

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Báez, J.C., Galanis, R. & Magill, M. When the Right Measure Doesn’t Exist: A Novel Motivational Interviewing Tool for Community Programs. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 37, 195–205 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-020-00650-y

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  • Fidelity monitoring
  • Community based programs
  • Implementation science
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Psychometric