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Using Computer Simulation to Enhance Retention of Motivational Interviewing…

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
9861 BROKEN LAND PKWY, STE 200 COLUMBIA, MD 21046-3039
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Using Computer Simulation to Enhance Retention of Motivational Interviewing Skill
Agency: HHS
Contract: 2R44DA023767-02
Award Amount: $1,040,593.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a widely used empirically-supported intervention for substance abuse, yet little is known about methods for training this complex treatment among the front-line clinicians who are now b eing asked to employ it. The available research indicates that the most common methods for training counselors in MI do not sufficiently elicit the level of competence required for clinical trials, where efficacy of this method has been demonstrated. Innov ative and economical technologies that assist counselors in acquiring competence in MI would address this gap between the laboratory and clinic for this empirically-based treatment. The primary goal of this STRR Phase II grant is to develop and test an inn ovative training program based on the SIMmersion LLC simulation software system. Based on a Phase I prototype, SIMmersion, with the assistance of Dr. Theresa Moyers (University of New Mexico) will create a system that will augment workshop training in MI. Dr. Moyers and her research team will conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the training system's efficacy. After receiving MI training at a standard two-day workshop on motivational interviewing techniques, participants will receive the MI sim ulation training system or self-paced, paper-and- pencil learning materials. A standardized behavioral coding system will be used to evaluate the clinician- participant's recorded therapy sessions in order to 1) evaluate the impact of the training sessions on intended skill acquisition by clinicians and 2) examine differences between the groups in both skill acquisition and maintenance over a six month period. This training system will then be marketed to schools of medicine, nursing, social work, allied he alth American graduate medical education approved residency programs, US-based health care systems, and CE (continuing education) programs in the US. In addition, the simulation training system will be marketed to similar medical training functions in West ern and Eastern Europe, Canada and Latin America. The simulated patient program, using the SIMmersion technology, is expected to significantly advance our ability to train medical professionals in human processing and interaction skills. We expect the end result of the grant will include improved MI skills among substance abuse clinicians that will lead to improved patient outcomes. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Motivational Interviewing (MI) has been shown to be a very effective technique for providing substanc e abuse intervention, particularly with individuals who are ambivalent about changing. However, these techniques require extensive practice, which is difficult and expensive to obtain after initial training. The proposed research will produce an innovative new training tool with the potential to increase learning and retention of MI skills among clinicians, thereby benefiting their patients.

Principal Investigator:

Dale E. Olsen

Business Contact:

Laura N. Boteler
Small Business Information at Submission:


EIN/Tax ID: 611423111
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No