A brief motivational intervention to improve dietary adherence in adolescents

S. M. Berg-Smith*, V. J. Stevens, K. M. Brown, L. Van Horn, N. Gernhofer, E. Peters, R. Greenberg, L. Snetselaar, L. Ahrens, K. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Motivational interviewing offers health care professionals a potentially effective strategy for increasing a patient's readiness to change health behaviors. Recently, elements of motivational interviewing and the stages of change model have been simplified and adapted for use with patients in brief clinical encounters. This paper describes in detail a brief motivational intervention model to improve and renew dietary adherence with adolescents in the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC). DISC is a randomized, multi-center clinical trial assessing the efficacy and safety of lowering dietary fat to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in high-risk children. In the first 3 years of follow-up covering ages 8-13, intervention participants (n = 334) were exposed to a family-based group intervention approach to change dietary choices. To address adherence and retention obstacles as participants moved into adolescence (age 13-17), an individual-level motivational intervention was implemented. The DISC motivational intervention integrates several intervention models: stages of change, motivational interviewing, brief negotiation and behavioral self-management. A preliminary test of the intervention model suggests that it was acceptable to the participants, popular with interventionists and appeared to be an age-appropriate shift from a family-based intervention model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-410
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A brief motivational intervention to improve dietary adherence in adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this