Motivational Interviewing 2: Pain Relief


This course examines the evidence for motivational interviewing in pain management. Emphasis is on fibromyalgia. Relationships among pain, opioids, and obesity are also covered. Upon completion, participants will know whether motivational interviewing is right for their patients and clients. Time saving techniques for retrieving and reviewing research evidence will also be covered. Instructional methods include lecture, interactive participation, and Q&A.


Upon course completion, participants will

  1. Know how well motivational interviewing works for pain management, especially in fibromyalgia. Insights will be sufficient for pursuing motivational interviewing in clinical practice. 

  2. Appreciate the quality and scope of evidence examining motivational interviewing for pain management

  3. Save time. 

  • Have a time saving process for starting and completing literature searches. 

  • Have a time saving process for triaging and reviewing clinically relevant research. 

  • Have an efficient and defensible process for applying research evidence to frontline practice


75 minutes, with 60 minutes of lecture and 15 minutes of Q&A. Longer seminars can be arranged for a richer, more interactive experience. Lunch-n-learn opportunities (<60 minutes) are also available.

How to Host

This course is available in-person or remote. If you or your institution is interested in hosting, contact us here


Ang DC, Kaleth AS, Bigatti S, Mazzuca SA, Jensen MP, Hilligoss J, Slaven J, Saha C. Research to encourage exercise for fibromyalgia (REEF): use of motivational interviewing, outcomes from a randomized-controlled trial. Clin J Pain. 2013 Apr;29(4):296-304. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e318254ac76. PubMed PMID: 23042474; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3541460.

Cheing G, Vong S, Chan F, Ditchman N, Brooks J, Chan C. Testing a path-analytic mediation model of how motivational enhancement physiotherapy improves physical functioning in pain patients. J Occup Rehabil. 2014 Dec;24(4):798-805. doi: 10.1007/s10926-014-9515-8. PubMed PMID: 24820121

Fitzcharles MA, Shir Y. Another Nasty Effect of Opioids: Attenuating the Benefits of Motivational Interviewing in Fibromyalgia? J Rheumatol. 2017 Apr;44(4):407-409. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.170076. PubMed PMID: 28604346.

Kaleth AS, Slaven JE, Ang DC. Obesity Moderates the Effects of Motivational Interviewing Treatment Outcomes in Fibromyalgia. Clin J Pain. 2018 Jan;34(1):76-81. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000500. PubMed PMID: 28272119; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5831245.

Kim S, Slaven JE, Ang DC. Sustained Benefits of Exercise-based Motivational Interviewing, but Only among Nonusers of Opioids in Patients with Fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol. 2017 Apr;44(4):505-511. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.161003. Epub 2016 Dec 1. PubMed PMID: 27909084; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5831251.

Skolasky RL, Maggard AM, Li D, Riley LH 3rd, Wegener ST. Health behavior change counseling in surgery for degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. Part I: improvement in rehabilitation engagement and functional outcomes. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Jul;96(7):1200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2015.03.009. Epub 2015 Mar 28. PubMed PMID: 25827657; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6153438.

Skolasky RL, Maggard AM, Li D, Riley LH 3rd, Wegener ST. Health behavior change counseling in surgery for degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. Part II: patient activation mediates the effects of health behavior change counseling on rehabilitation engagement. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Jul;96(7):1208-14. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2015.02.031. Epub 2015 Mar 28. PubMed PMID: 25827656; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6153440.

Zuckoff A. "Why won't my patients do what's good for them?" Motivational interviewing and treatment adherence. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2012 Sep-Oct;8(5):514-21. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 May 4. PubMed PMID: 22704048.