A Pilot Study Comparing In-Person and Web-Based Motivational Interviewing Among Adults with a First-Time DUI Offense

Published in: Addiction Science and Clinical Practice, v.10, no. 18, Sep. 2015, p. 1-11

Posted on RAND.org on October 05, 2015

by Karen Chan Osilla, Susan M. Paddock, Thomas Leininger, Elizabeth J. D'Amico, Brett Ewing, Katherine E. Watkins

BACKGROUND: Driving under the influence (DUI) is a significant problem, and there is a pressing need to develop interventions that reduce future risk. METHODS: We pilot-tested the acceptance and efficacy of web-motivational interviewing (MI) and in-person MI interventions among a diverse sample of individuals with a first-time DUI offense. Participants (N = 159) were 65 percent male, 40 percent Hispanic, and an average age of 30 (SD = 9.8). They were enrolled at one of three participating 3-month DUI programs in Los Angeles County and randomized to usual care (UC)-only (36-h program), in-person MI plus UC, or a web-based intervention using MI (web-MI) plus UC. Participants were assessed at intake and program completion. We examined intervention acceptance and preliminary efficacy of the interventions on alcohol consumption, DUI, and alcohol-related consequences. RESULTS: Web-MI and in-person MI participants rated the quality of and satisfaction with their sessions significantly higher than participants in the UC-only condition. However, there were no significant group differences between the MI conditions and the UC-only condition in alcohol consumption, DUI, and alcohol-related consequences. Further, 67 percent of our sample met criteria for alcohol dependence, and the majority of participants in all three study conditions continued to report alcohol-related consequences at follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Participants receiving MI plus UC and UC-only had similar improvements, and a large proportion had symptoms of alcohol dependence. Receiving a DUI and having to deal with the numerous consequences related to this type of event may be significant enough to reduce short-term behaviors, but future research should explore whether more intensive interventions are needed to sustain long-term changes.

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