<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1656550421284442&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Community & Behavioral Health | Recovery | Social Change


Changing the Conversation

Evidence-Based Gaming: Expanding MI Skills through Simulation

12/19/14 01:45 PM | MISim | Recovery, Homelessness

By Nick Garza and Collin J. Whelley --

This past September, the Center for Social Innovation and our partners at Forio Online Simulations and the American Institutes for Research began work on a Phase II study entitled Motivational Interviewing Simulator: An Experiential Online Training Tool. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the MI Simulator is an interactive web-based game that allows service providers to practice and deepen their skills in Motivational Interviewing (MI). During Phase II, we will expand our existing prototype into a cutting edge multi-dimensional training tool for learners to practice their knowledge and skills.

Motivational Interviewing “is a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change” (Miller & Rollnick, 2013). MI is a widely recognized evidence-based practice that requires extensive training and continual practice. Typically, service providers attend a two-day in-person MI training workshop with little follow up. Without continuous support and coaching, provider knowledge and skills decline over time. The MI Simulator will equip service providers and agencies with a method to build and maintain their skills to implement MI with fidelity. This tool seeks to boost the impact and sustainability of effective training, improve the use of MI, and support better client outcomes.

The MI Simulator will provide multiple interactive arenas, storylines, and skill levels. The arena will include Single-player, Two-player, and Advanced-Play modes. Advanced-play will provide an opportunity for service providers to test their advanced skills, archive sessions, and access transcripts. Agencies will then be able to monitor the fidelity of MI implementation on a provider-by-provider basis and offer support where it is needed.

The Simulator has the potential to reach far beyond improved Motivational Interviewing skills. This project seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable people, increase the effectiveness of services, transform the implementation of evidence-based practices, and contribute significantly to implementation science. To test the effectiveness of our MI simulator, the Center for Social Innovation will conduct a randomized controlled trial with three study conditions. Agencies will be randomly assigned to MI Training Only; MI Training + an eBook booster; or MI Training + the MI Simulator booster. If you or your agency would like more information regarding this simulator and our study, please contact misim@center4si.com. Look for more updates as the project progresses.

We would like to offer special thanks to our Project Officer, Adam Haim, Ph.D, of the National Institutes of Mental Health for their generous support of this project.


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44MH092951. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


Image by Jamie McCaffrey/ CC BY 2.0


Written by MISim