The Evidence Portal

Motivational Interviewing integrated with Social Network Counselling (MI/SN)

About the program

MI/SN is 20-minute preventive intervention for substance use and associated risk behaviours among female adolescents. MI/SN integrates an evidenced-based motivational interviewing (MI) approach with a social network component. The MI/SN intervention comprises four component parts: a) rapport building, b) presentation of substance use feedback from baseline assessment, c) introduction of social network information and presentation of feedback from baseline assessment, and d) summary and plans.

Who does it work for?

MI/SN has only been evaluated in the USA. A randomized control trial (Mason et al. 2011) was conducted with 28 people (14 in the control group and 14 in the intervention group). MI/SN is designed for 14–18-year-old females. Study participants were an average of 16 years old, and the majority (82%) were African American. Less than half (32%) of the sample lived below the poverty line.

MI/SN has not been evaluated in Australia or with Aboriginal Australians.

What outcomes does it contribute to?

Positive outcomes:

  • MI/SN participants reported reduced levels of social stress
  • MI/SN participants reported feeling more ready to start counselling

Negative outcomes:

  • The intervention had no effects on participants’ social network risk level

How effective is it?

Overall, MI/SN had mixed effects on client outcomes.

How strong is the evidence?

Mixed research evidence (with no adverse effects):

  • At least one high-quality randomised controlled trial (RCT)/quasi-experimental design (QED) study reports statistically significant positive effects for at least one outcome, AND
  • An equal number or more RCT/QED studies of similar size and quality show no observed effects than show statistically significant positive effects, AND
  • No RCT/QED studies show statistically significant adverse effects.

How is it implemented?

MI/SN is a single session intervention lasting 20 minutes. MI/SN comprises 4 component parts, each lasting for 5 minutes.

The social network component begins by introducing the concept of social network and its influence on health. Next, the teen's network is assessed and reviewed. The number of substance users, risky and prosocial activities, influence to use substances, support, and encouragement associated with each person named in a teen's network were assessed.

Teens reflect on their current network configuration and are asked to consider making modifications to the amount of time spent with whom and where to support their stated desire for network adjustment. Information was delivered in a motivational interviewing-consistent fashion.

How much does it cost?

The costs for MI/SN were not reported in the study.

Where does the evidence come from?

1 RCT conducted in the USA with a sample of 28 people (Mason et al., 2011).

Further resources

Mason, M, Pate, P, Drapkin, M, & Sozinho, K 2011, ‘Motivational interviewing integrated with social network counseling for female adolescents: A randomized pilot study in urban primary care’, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, vol. 41, pp. 148-155, DOI 10.1016/j.jsat.2011.02.009

Last updated:

09 Dec 2022

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