Motivational interviewing for smoking cessation in college students: A group randomized controlled trial

Kari Jo Harris, Delwyn Catley, Glenn E. Good, Nikole J. Cronk, Solomon Harrar, Karen B. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the efficacy of four individually-delivered Motivational Interviewing counseling sessions for smoking cessation versus a matched intensity comparison condition. Method: From 2006-2009, students attending college in the Midwest smoking at least 1 of 30 days were recruited regardless of their interest in quitting. 30 fraternities and sororities were randomized, resulting in 452 participants. Results: No significant differences were found for 30-day cessation between treatment and comparison at end of treatment (31.4% vs 28%, OR. = 1.20, 95% CI 0.72,1.99) or at follow-up (20.4% vs 24.6%, OR. = 0.78, 95% CI 0.50,1.22). Predictors of cessation at follow-up, regardless of condition, included more sessions attended (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1,1.8) and more cigarettes smoked in 30 days at baseline (OR 4.7, 95% CI 2.5,8.9). The odds of making at least one quit attempt were significantly greater for those in the smoking group at end of treatment (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.11,2.74) and follow-up (OR 1.66, 95% CI 1.11,2.47). Modeling showed reduction in days smoked for both groups. At end of treatment, more frequent smokers in the treatment condition had greater reductions in days smoked. Conclusion: Motivational Interviewing for smoking cessation is effective for increasing cessation attempts and reducing days smoked in the short run.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Counseling
  • Motivation
  • Randomized trial
  • Smoking cessation
  • Tobacco
  • Universities
  • Young adult


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