A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study of Motivational Interviewing to Change Attitudes about Adherence to Medications for Asthma

  • Karen B. Schmaling
  • Arthur W. Blume
  • Niloofar Afari


The day-to-day management of asthma relies on patient self-care practices; in particular, adherent use of asthma medications is fundamental for asthma management. However, most persons with asthma do not use their medications to clinically acceptable standards. The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of a brief educational intervention to enhance knowledge and skills relevant to asthma self-care, and the efficacy of motivational interviewing to improve attitudes toward taking medications as prescribed. Twenty-five adults with asthma were randomly assigned to receive a brief educational intervention alone, or education plus motivational interviewing. Over time, all participants improved their knowledge of asthma and skills using a metered dose inhaler. Participants who received education alone showed a decreased level of readiness to adhere with their medications over time, whereas participants who received motivational interviewing were more likely to show a stable or increased level of readiness to adhere over time. Among participants who described themselves as not consistently adhering with their medications at the first evaluation, those who received motivational interviewing endorsed more positive attitudes toward taking medications over time. The results are supportive of the utility of motivational interviewing in enhancing participants' attitudes toward adherent medication use. Future research should test if attitude change is reflected in change in medication use.

adherence asthma motivational interviewing education 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen B. Schmaling
    • 1
  • Arthur W. Blume
    • 1
  • Niloofar Afari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattle, Washington

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