Motivational interviewing prior to cognitive behavioural treatment for social anxiety disorder: A randomised controlled trial.


Centre for Emotional Health, Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : We examined whether providing three sessions of treatment based on motivational interviewing (MI) prior to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) improved outcomes.
METHODS : Participants diagnosed with SAD (N = 186) were randomly allocated to receive three sessions of MI (MI+CBT; n = 85) or supportive counselling (SC+CBT; n = 101) prior to a 12-week group CBT program. Assessments occurred at baseline, after preparatory treatment, after CBT, and at 6-months follow-up. Outcomes were expectations for change, number of CBT sessions attended, self- and clinician-rated CBT homework completion, and self- and clinician-rated social anxiety severity.
RESULTS : Conditions did not differ significantly on expectations for change, number of CBT sessions attended, or clinician-rated homework completion. Self-rated homework completion was greater in MI+CBT than in SC+CBT. Change over time in social anxiety severity did not differ between conditions overall, however, this outcome was significantly moderated by two variables; those in MI+CBT, as compared to SC+CBT, showed significantly poorer outcomes on self-reported social anxiety severity if they were higher in change readiness and significantly better outcomes on clinician-rated social anxiety severity if they were higher in functional impairment.
CONCLUSIONS : Although therapists in MI sessions were rated as behaving more consistently with MI than therapists in SC sessions, some MI consistent behaviors occurred in the SC sessions.
CONCLUSIONS : Addition of a MI-based discussion prior to evidence-based CBT appears to benefit people with SAD who have high functional impairment but may interfere with outcomes for those higher in readiness for change.


Cognitive behavioural treatment,Motivational interviewing,Social anxiety disorder,

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