The art of motivating behavior change: The use of motivational interviewing to promote health

Harold E. Shinitzky, Joan Kub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Health promotion and disease prevention have always been essential to public health nursing. With the changing health care system and an increased emphasis on cost-containment, the role of the nurse is expanding even more into this arena. A challenge for public health nurses, then, is to motivate and facilitate health behavior change in working with individuals, families, and communities and designing programs based on theory. Leading causes of death continue to relate to health behaviors that require change. The purpose of this article is to integrate theory with practice by describing the Transtheoretical Model of Change as well as the principles of motivational interviewing that can be used in motivating behavioral change. A case scenario is presented to illustrate the use of the models with effective interviewing skills that can be used to enhance health. Implications for practice with an emphasis on providing an individually tailored matched intervention is stressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Health behavior
  • Health promotion
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Transtheoretical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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