Experts: Encouragement beats scare tactics for motivating patients

05/5/2013 | Wall Street Journal, The

Doctors are ditching stern health warnings in favor of a motivational interviewing technique designed to encourage patients to set personal goals for improving their chronic conditions. "When people are struggling, they don't like to be told what to do, and they dislike being labeled and blamed," said Stephen Rollnick of Cardiff University. The motivational interviewing technique, which was devised to treat substance abusers and addicts, "can bring patients back on board and empower them to consider difficult changes," he said.

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