Attitudes and experiences towards the application of motivational interviewing by podiatrists working with people with diabetes at high‑risk of developing foot ulcers: a mixed‑methods study

M. Jongebloed-Westra, C. Bode, B. E. Bente, J. M. de Jonge, P. M. ten Klooster, H. Koffijberg, S. H. Exterkate, J. J. van Netten, J. E. W. C. van Gemert-Pijnen

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Abstract

Background
Podiatrists are key professionals in promoting adequate foot self-care for people with diabetes at high-risk of developing foot ulcers. However, merely informing patients about the advantages of foot self-care is insufficient to realise behavioural change. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a promising person-centred communication style that could help to create a working alliance between healthcare providers and patient to improve foot self-care. This study aims to observe and analyse the application of MI in consultations carried out by MI-trained and non-MI-trained podiatrists with their patients, and explore podiatrists’ attitudes and experiences towards MI.

Methods
Eighteen podiatrists (median age: 28.5 years, 10 female and 8 male) followed a three-day basic training in MI and 4 podiatrists (median age: 38.5 years, 4 female) were not trained in MI. To observe and rate the MI-fidelity in daily clinical practice, audio recordings from the MI-trained and non-MI-trained podiatrists were scored with the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity code. Individual, semi-structed, in-depth interviews were conducted with the MI-trained podiatrists to explore their attitudes towards and experiences with MI. These data sources were triangulated to describe the effect of training podiatrists in MI for their clinical practice.

Results
The MI-trained podiatrists scored significantly higher than the non-MI-trained podiatrists on two of four global MI-related communication skills (empathy, p = 0.008 and change talk, p = 0.008), on one of five core MI-adherent behaviours (affirmation, p = 0.041) and on one of the other behaviour counts (simple reflections, p = 0.008). The podiatrists mainly reported their attitudes and experiences regarding partnership and cultivating change talk, during the interviews. In addition, they also mentioned facilitators and barriers to using MI and indicated whether they experienced MI as having added value.

Conclusions
The MI-trained podiatrists used the principles of MI at a solid beginner proficiency level in their clinical practice in comparison to the non-MI-trained podiatrists, who did not reach this level. This achievement is in accordance with the basic MI-training they received. This multi-method study reveals that podiatrists can be effectively trained in applying MI in daily clinical practice.

Trial registration
Netherlands Trial Register NL7710. Registered: 6 May 2019.
Original languageEnglish
Article number62
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Research
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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