Background: There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) but clients can struggle with motivation during treatment. Online motivational interviewing (MI) has not yet been investigated during ICBT as a method of facilitating engagement and outcomes.
Purpose: This feasibility study investigated the potential use of an MI resource offered during ICBT by examining: (1) use of the resource; (2) patient and treatment variables associated with using the resource; (3) whether use of the resource was associated with improved engagement and outcomes; and (4) how those who used the resource evaluated it.
Method: This study used data collected from 763 clients enrolled in an ICBT course. Clients completed an MI resource evaluation measure at post-treatment. Symptoms were assessed at pre- and post-treatment. The website tracked treatment engagement.
Results: Approximately 15% of clients used the resource. Clients who were older, had higher education, higher depression, and lower anxiety at pre-treatment were more likely to use the resource. Those who reported using the resource had higher engagement (i.e., more lessons and more messages) in ICBT, but lower improvement in disability, which may have been a trigger for using the resource. Positive feedback on the MI resource outweighed the negative feedback, with 94% of clients identifying a positive aspect of the resource and 68% of clients reporting changes made in response to the resource.
Conclusion: Overall, the MI resource appears to have utility for a small portion of clients who complete ICBT and this study provides insight to who will use the resource. The resource will be available longer term for patient use in the Online Therapy Unit.