The purpose of this project was to create an interprofessional substance use disorders (SUDs) course that provided health professions students an opportunity to acquire and apply behavior change counseling skills for patients with SUDs with direct observation, assessment, and feedback.
The interprofessional SUDs course was offered five times within one academic year as part of a one-month psychiatry clerkship. The course focused on developing empathy and examining personal bias, behavioral change counseling, and recognition, screening, and treatment of SUDs. Students practiced behavior change counseling during the course and with a SUD patient. A faculty member experienced in behavior change counseling assessed students’ patient counseling using the validated Behavior Change Counseling Index (BECCI).
Seventy-eight students from medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and physician assistant programs completed the one-month course. Fifty-three students counseled a SUD patient. Students’ BECCI-rated counseling skills indicated they performed recommended counseling practices and spoke “less than half the time” or “about half the time” when counseling. Ninety-three percent of SUD patients reported a willingness for follow-up care about their substance use after the student-led session with a student.
Following participation in an innovative interprofessional SUD course that included behavior change counseling, students demonstrated their ability to apply their skills during training and with a SUD patient. The study demonstrated promising patient outcomes following student counseling.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Lim BT, Moriarty H, Huthwaite M, Gray L, Pullon S, Gallagher P. How well do medical students rate and communicate clinical empathy? Med Teach. 2013;35(2):e946–51.
Junod P, Sommer J, Louis-Simonet M, Nendaz M. Teaching communication skills: beyond wishful thinking. Swiss Med Wkly. 2015;145:Ew14064.
Englander R, Cameron T, Ballard AJ, Dodge J, Bull J, Aschenbrener CA. Toward a common taxonomy of competency domains for the health professions and competencies for physicians. Acda Med. 2013;88:1088–94.
Medina MS, Plaza CM, Stowe CD, Robinson ET, Delander G, Beck DE, et al. Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education 2013 Educational Outcomes. Am J Pharm Educ. 2013;77:162.
Curriculum Guidelines, American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (n.d.). https://www.aacnnursing.org/Education-Resources/Curriculum-Guidelines Accessed February 24, 2019.
Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession, Assessing PA Competencies(n.d.). https://www.aapa.org/career-central/employer-tools/employing-a-pa/competencies-physician-assistant-profession/ Accessed February 24, 2019.
Lane C, Huws-Thomas M, Hood K, Rollnick S, Edwards K, Robling M. Measuring adaptations of motivational interviewing: the development and validation of the behavior change counseling index (BECCI). Patient Educ Couns. 2005;56:166–73.
BECCI Manual, BECCI Manual | Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). (n.d.). https://motivationalinterviewing.org/becci-manual Accessed February 24, 2019.
Miller WR, Rollnick S. Motivational interviewing: preparing people for change. 2nd ed. New York, NY New York; 2002.
Daeppen JP, Fortini C, Bertholet N, Bonvin R, Berney A, Michaud P, et al. Training medical students to conduct motivational interviewing: a randomized controlled trial. Patient Educ Couns. 2012;87:313–8.
Hettema J, Steele J, Miller WR. Motivational interviewing. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2005;1:91–111.
Roman B, Borges N, Morrison A. Teaching motivational interviewing skills to third-year psychiatry clerkship students. Acad Psychiatry. 2011;35:51–3.
Schoo AM, Lawn S, Rudnik E, Litt JC. Teaching health science students foundation motivational interviewing skills: use of motivational interviewing treatment integrity and self-reflection to approach transformative learning. BMC Med Educ. 2015;15:228.
Poirier MK, Clark MM, Cerhan JH, Pruthi S, Geda YE, Dale LC. Teaching motivational interviewing to first-year medical students to improve counseling skills in health behavior change. Mayo Clin Proc. 2004;79:327–31.
Martino S, Haeseler F, Belitsky R, Pantalon M, Fortin AF. Teaching brief motivational interviewing to year three medical students. Med Educ. 2007;41:160–7.
Bell K, Cole BA. Improving medical students’ success in promoting health behavior change: a curriculum evaluation. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23:1503–6.
Spollen JJ, Thrush CR, Mui DV, Woods MB, Tariq SG, Hicks E. A randomized controlled trial of behavior change counseling education for medical students. Med Teach. 2010;32:e170–7.
Hauer KE, Carney PA, Chang A, Satterfield J. Behavior change counseling curricula for medical trainees: a systematic review. Acad Med. 2012;87:956–68.
Kothari D, Gourevitch MN, Lee JD, Grossman E, Truncali A, Ark TK, et al. Undergraduate medical education in substance abuse: a review of the quality of the literature. Acad Med. 2011;86:98–112.
Uhm S, Lee GH, Jin JK, Bak YI, Jeoung YO, Kim CW. Impact of tailored feedback in assessment of communication skills for medical students. Med Educ Online. 2015;20:28453.
Harris PA, Taylor R, Thielke R, Payne J, Gonzalez N, Conde JG. Research electronic data capture (REDCap)—a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support. J Biomed Inform. 2009;42:377–81.
Ram A, Chisolm MS. The time is now: improving substance abuse training in medical schools. Acad Psychiatry. 2016;40:454–60.
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics. Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2016/NSDUH-FFR1-2016.htm#sud). Accessed April 28, 2019.
Opioid overdose. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/). Published October 23, 2017. Accessed April 28, 2019.
Trends and statistics. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics#supplemental-references-for-economic-costs). Published April 2017. Accessed April 28, 2019.
This work was supported by Duke Area Health Education Center, Innovations Grant; Duke University, Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund; and Duke University, Duke University Division of Addiction Medicine.
IRB declared as “exempt research” and IRB form submitted.
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Muzyk, A., Mullan, P., Andolsek, K. et al. Behavior Change Counseling of Patients with Substance Use Disorders by Health Professions Students. Acad Psychiatry 44, 129–134 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-019-01093-z
- Motivational interviewing
- Brief intervention