August 24, 2015 by Nicholas Spence
No doubt, our current work is a reflection of the countless hours of effort that set the course for where we are today, under the leadership of Dr. Josie Geller and Dr. Geoff Ball. The story of the RMI-Family project goes back a couple of years. To give you some appreciation for the history of the project, a new publication based on the foundational work of Geller et al. (2015) is documented in the Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research: “Developing and Pilot Testing the Readiness and Motivation Interview for Families in Pediatric Weight Management.”
Based on the research and clinical experience of team members, the importance of assessing the motivation of families managing pediatric obesity to improve the quality of care, through the provision of tailored health services, was a no brainer. Given the lack of valid and reliable tools to assess family motivation, the team sought to address this gap in research and clinical practice.
The article by Geller et al. (2015) highlights two processes required to develop such a complex but useful measure of motivation: conceptual development of the “Readiness and Motivation Interview for Families” through focus groups with parents, youth with obesity and health providers; and testing the tool on a very small sample of families to ensure ease of administration and clarity of the measure. Despite the promise of the pilot study, there is still much work to be done. The next steps are to determine the measurement properties (validity & reliability) and utility of the RMI-Family measure in predicting clinical outcomes in pediatric weight management, which is our current endeavor.
Since the work documented in the paper, there have been some milestones worth mentioning:
1) The RMI-Family project was Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as an operating grant in 2014 for 4 years at $630 000;
4) Successful motivational interviewing training in July 2015 for all research interviewers.
As you can see, the project has a long history with a few more years to go! Stay tuned for more updates in the near future.