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Component Analysis for Motivational Interviewing

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jonathan Morgenstern, Northwell Health Identifier:
First received: July 13, 2012
Last updated: September 9, 2016
Last verified: September 2016
The purpose of this study is to investigate the critical components of motivational interviewing (MI), a psychotherapeutic intervention, in reducing heavy or problematic drinking. The study will disaggregate MI into its component parts and test full MI compared to MI without its directive strategies. This study will test whether the directive elements of MI are critical or whether MI effects may be attributable solely to its Rogerian, non-directive components. For more information, go to

Condition Intervention
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Alcohol Use Disorders
Alcohol Drinking
Alcohol Abuse
Behavioral: Full Motivational Interviewing ("FMI")
Behavioral: Spirit Only Motivational Interviewing ("SOMI")

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Component Analysis for Motivational Interviewing

Further study details as provided by Northwell Health:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Time Line Follow Back [ Time Frame: 36 weeks ]
    Calendar-based method of recording drinking patterns. Data will be aggregated into summary variables including sum of standard drinks, mean drinks per drinking day, and percent days heavy drinking at multiple time points.

Enrollment: 139
Study Start Date: May 2012
Study Completion Date: August 2016
Primary Completion Date: April 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Psychotherapy Behavioral: Full Motivational Interviewing ("FMI")
Relational and technical technical (directive) strategies in counselling sessions to significantly increase commitment strength to reduce drinking.
Behavioral: Spirit Only Motivational Interviewing ("SOMI")
Empathic and non-directive counselling based on Rogerian psychotherapy model.
No Intervention: Self-Change Control ("SCC")
SCC participants will be told that they should attempt to reduce their drinking over the course of 8 weeks. (If unsuccessful, they will be offered Full Motivational Interviewing therapy sessions.)

Detailed Description:

Project Motion is a clinical research study for people seeking to reduce, but not stop their drinking. Individuals who qualify will receive a comprehensive assessment and brief individual psychotherapy at no cost. The study is being conducted by a team of scientists at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute and is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our offices are located next to Columbus Circle and we offer convenient hours for appointments.

The purpose of our study is to understand how brief psychotherapy helps people reduce alcohol consumption and drinking problems. For example, we know that some people can reduce drinking with little or no treatment, whereas others benefit from one-on-one psychotherapy. However, we do not know why this happens. Individuals who qualify and decide to participate will be assigned by chance to one of three conditions. Individuals assigned to the first two conditions will receive brief psychotherapy, beginning the first week of their participation in the study. Individuals in the third condition will receive feedback on their drinking and be asked to reduce their drinking with the aid of telephone self-monitoring for a period of 8 weeks. Individuals in the third condition will then receive psychotherapy as well. The delay of 8 weeks will allow us to understand how the psychotherapy works compared to how people change without counseling.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Primary current diagnosis of Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Meets DSM-IV criteria for inability to control or cut down on drinking
  • Have an average weekly consumption of >24 standard drinks for men and >15 standard drinks for women
  • Show no evidence of significant cognitive impairment
  • Are willing to reduce drinking to non-hazardous levels
  • Not seeking to quit drinking
  • Agree not to seek additional substance abuse treatment during treatment period
  • Fluent in English

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Have a current DSM-IV diagnosis of drug dependence (other than nicotine/marijuana)
  • Have a serious psychiatric illness (e.g., psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression) or substantial suicide or violence risk
  • Have clinically severe alcoholism as evidenced by a history of significant medical problems associated with drinking, seizures or severe withdrawal symptoms, or an inpatient treatment episode for drinking
  • Legally mandated to receive substance abuse treatment
  • Sufficiently socially unstable as to preclude completion of study requirements (e.g., homeless)
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01642381

United States, New York
North Shore LIJ Health Systems
Great Neck, New York, United States, 11021
Sponsors and Collaborators
Northwell Health
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Morgenstern, PhD North Shore LIJ Health Systems
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jonathan Morgenstern, Principal Investigator, Northwell Health Identifier: NCT01642381     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AA 020077-01A1
Study First Received: July 13, 2012
Last Updated: September 9, 2016

Keywords provided by Northwell Health:
Alcohol Problems
Moderation-Oriented Treatment
Controlled Drinking
Reduced Drinking
Heavy Drinking
Problematic Drinking
Non-Abstinence-based Drinking

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol Drinking
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Pathologic Processes
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Drinking Behavior processed this record on April 26, 2017