The effectiveness of motivational interviewing delivered by youth workers in reducing drinking, cigarette and cannabis smoking among young people: quasi-experimental pilot study.

Research paper by Emily E Gray, Jim J McCambridge, John J Strang

Indexed on: 01 Sep '05Published on: 01 Sep '05Published in: Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire)


To test whether a single session of Motivational Interviewing (MI) focussing on drinking alcohol, and cigarette and cannabis smoking, would successfully lead to reductions in use or problems.Naturalistic quasi-experimental study, in 162 young people (mean age 17 years) who were daily cigarette smokers, weekly drinkers or weekly cannabis smokers, comparing 59 receiving MI with 103 non-intervention assessment-only controls. MI was delivered in a single session by youth workers or by the first author. Assessment was made of changes in self-reported cigarette, alcohol, cannabis use and related indicators of risk and problems between recruitment and after 3 months by self-completion questionnaire.87% of subjects (141 of 162) were followed up. The most substantial evidence of benefit was achieved in relation to alcohol consumption, with those receiving MI drinking on average two days per month less than controls after 3 months. Weaker evidences of impact on cigarette smoking, and no evidence of impact on cannabis use, were obtained.Evidence of effectiveness for the delivery of MI by youth workers in routine conditions has been identified. However, the extent of benefit is much more modest than previously identified in efficacy studies.