March 16, 2015 by Nicholas Spence
The RMI-Family project team concluded its two day meeting on Friday March 13th. Day two focused on further refinement of the main measure of this study, assessing the readiness and motivation of youth and their parents to change lifestyle behaviors surrounding physical activity, eating, and sleep, the Readiness and Motivational Interview Family interview tool. Also, the day included a thorough introduction to motivational interviewing.
Although I did not keep track, the team reworded the interview tool dozens of times. The unique clinical, research, and educational experiences of the group played a critical role in arriving at the newest version of the interview tool. What was evident is that this iterative process is a necessary part of research, as a faulty measure would undermine the entire study. Despite the advances made on this front of the project, there will be more tweaks to the interview tool in coming weeks.
Motivational interviewing was relatively new to many of the clinicians working in pediatric obesity; however, its utility was quickly exemplified through a combination of self-reflection and scenarios that clinicians often encounter. The contexts in which motivational interviewing is not appropriate and practical issues surrounding health outcomes, optimization of care, cost-benefit, and bureaucratic constraints in practicing this approach were given fair attention.
As a whole, I would describe the two days as a complete success. Upon reflection, I am impressed that a multidisciplinary team of this size, with clinicians and researchers, from a number of sites across the country, was able to make substantial progress on the project in such a short time frame. While I cannot reduce this down to a simple formula, I’d say that our accomplishments were a product of three main items: clearly defined goals; collaborative discussion; and flexibility in the agenda.
I look forward to the next one in due time!