Open Access Study protocol

Is the Scale for Measuring Motivational Interviewing Skills a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the primary care professionals motivational skills?: EVEM study protocol

Luis Á Pérula1*, Manuel Campiñez2, Josep M Bosch3, Nieves Barragán Brun2, Juan C Arboniés5, Julia Bóveda Fontán4, Remedios Martín Alvarez2, Jose A Prados6, Enrique Martín-Rioboó1, Josep Massons7, Margarita Criado1, José Á Fernández1, Juan M Parras1, Roger Ruiz-Moral1, Jesús Manuel Novo8 and and collaborative Group Dislip-EM

Author affiliations

1 Unidad Docente de Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria de Córdoba, Instituto Maimónides de Investigación Biomédica de Córdoba (IMIBIC)/Hospital Universitario Reina Sofía/Universidad de Córdoba, Avda. Menéndez Pidal, s/n, Córdoba, Spain

2 CAP Vallcarca, Barcelona, Spain

3 Área Básica de Salud Encants Maragall, Institut Catala de la Salut (ICS), Barcelona, Spain

4 EAP Colmeiro, C/ Pintor Colmeiro, 11, Vigo, Spain

5 Centro de Salud de Beraun- Errenteria, Avda. Galzaraborda 67, Donostia, Spain

6 Centro de Salud Lucano (Córdoba), Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Spain

7 ABS Mataró 7. Institut Catala de la Salut (ICS), Barcelona, Spain

8 Centro de Saúde "A Milagrosa", Lugo, Spain

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Citation and License

BMC Family Practice 2012, 13:112  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-112

Published: 22 November 2012



Lifestyle is one of the main determinants of people’s health. It is essential to find the most effective prevention strategies to be used to encourage behavioral changes in their patients. Many theories are available that explain change or adherence to specific health behaviors in subjects. In this sense the named Motivational Interviewing has increasingly gained relevance. Few well-validated instruments are available for measuring doctors’ communication skills, and more specifically the Motivational Interviewing.


The hypothesis of this study is that the Scale for Measuring Motivational Interviewing Skills (EVEM questionnaire) is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the primary care professionals skills to get behavior change in patients. To test the hypothesis we have designed a prospective, observational, multi-center study to validate a measuring instrument. –Scope: Thirty-two primary care centers in Spain. -Sampling and Size: a) face and consensual validity: A group composed of 15 experts in Motivational Interviewing. b) Assessment of the psychometric properties of the scale; 50 physician- patient encounters will be videoed; a total of 162 interviews will be conducted with six standardized patients, and another 200 interviews will be conducted with 50 real patients (n=362). Four physicians will be specially trained to assess 30 interviews randomly selected to test the scale reproducibility. -Measurements for to test the hypothesis: a) Face validity: development of a draft questionnaire based on a theoretical model, by using Delphi-type methodology with experts. b) Scale psychometric properties: intraobservers will evaluate video recorded interviews: content-scalability validity (Exploratory Factor Analysis), internal consistency (Cronbach alpha), intra-/inter-observer reliability (Kappa index, intraclass correlation coefficient, Bland & Altman methodology), generalizability, construct validity and sensitivity to change (Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient).


The verification of the hypothesis that EVEM is a valid and reliable tool for assessing motivational interviewing would be a major breakthrough in the current theoretical and practical knowledge, as it could be used to assess if the providers put into practice a patient centered communication style and can be used both for training or researching purposes.

Trials registration Dislip-EM study

NCT01282190 (

Motivational interviewing; Behavior change counseling; Lifestyle change); Dyslipidemia; Cardiovascular risk factors