Date of Award


Document Type

DNP Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Jochebed Bea Ade-Oshifogun

Second Advisor

Jeanine Kocsis



Being overweight and obese has become a common lifestyle. More than half of American adults are overweight and more than a quarter of overweight adults are obese. Despite this overwhelming statistic, weight-loss coaching by primary care providers is usually disregarded due to time constraints and lack of skills to motivate patients to reach weight-loss goals. Motivational interviewing (MI) focuses on helping people investigate and overcome ambivalence toward healthy lifestyle modifications by helping them to explore their weaknesses, strengths, and preferences in an effort to facilitate behavioral changes.


The primary objective of this project is to assess the effectiveness of MI as a coaching technique to decrease body mass index (BMI).


The thirty-three participants for this project were selected through a random systematic sampling method. Those who met the inclusion criteria were systematically assigned to either the control or experimental group (odd number participants [1, 3, 5 ...] were selected for the experimental group; and even number participants [2, 4, 6 ...] were selected for the control group). The relationship between MI and a potential reduction in BMI was evaluated by performing an independent sample t-test and two-group pre-test/post-test design in order to analyze the mean difference in BMI for the two groups. At the end of a 6-week period, the treatment group chose and implemented behavior modifications that aided in weight loss after receiving MI. During the same 6-week period, the control group continued without MI as an intervention.


There was no significant difference, t(31) = 1.62, p = 0.58 in mean pre-/post-BMI outcomes for participants who received MI as an intervention during a brief consultation. The BMI outcomes for the experimental group were M = 33.09, SD = 6.5; and for the control group were M = 29.8, SD=5.05; 95% CI.


Weight loss is a battle that many Americans face (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014). Therefore, more aggressive and creative methods should be used to help patients reach their desired goals. This project attempted to demonstrate how MI could be used to promote weight loss. Although there was no statistical significance, the experimental group did have substantial weight loss; 10 out of 17 experimental participants lost an average of at least 1 BMI unit (3-5 lbs.), the mean pre-/post-BMI difference of 1.13 units. By comparison, the control group had a mean BMI loss of 0.78 of a unit. Further study is recommended to assess the effectiveness of MI for weight loss and the effects of indirect motivation on weight loss.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.