How to Measure Motivational Interviewing Fidelity in Randomized Controlled Trials: Practical Recommendations

Judith G. M. Jelsma*, Vera-Christina Mertens, Lisa Forsberg, Lars Forsberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Many randomized controlled trials in which motivational interviewing (MI) is a key intervention make no provision for the assessment of treatment fidelity. This methodological shortcoming makes it impossible to distinguish between high- and low-quality MI interventions, and, consequently, to know whether MI provision has contributed to any intervention effects. This article makes some practical recommendations for the collection, selection, coding and reporting of MI fidelity data, as measured using the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity Code. We hope that researchers will consider these recommendations and include MI fidelity measures in future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-99
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • Motivational interviewing
  • Fidelity
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Motivational Interviewing Treatment
  • Integrity Code
  • Motivational interviewing/methods*

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