To change or not to change? An evaluation study of the Motivational Interviewing based residential youth care training program Up2U

Annika Eenshuistra, Priscilla M. Bhola, Ariënne J. Hoek-Dekker, Erik J. Knorth, Annemiek T. Harder

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Long-term behavioral change in adolescents staying in residential youth care is often difficult to achieve. To enhance intrinsic motivation for change in adolescents, thereby achieving long-term behavioral change, we developed the Up2U training program. Based on motivational interviewing (MI) and solution-focused therapy (SFT), Up2U is designed for conducting one-on-one conversations with adolescents in residential youth care. The aim of this study is to evaluate the experiences that adolescents and care workers have had with this new program. To evaluate these experiences, we conducted semi-structured interviews with care workers and adolescents. We analyzed the interviews (N=23) with the program ATLAS.ti, using the 'open coding' method to code the interviews. The results show that, in general, the care workers were satisfied with Up2U. They identified the clarity, conciseness and sample questions as particularly positive elements of the Up2U manual. Moreover, the majority indicated the intent to continue using Up2U in the future. In contrast, the care workers regarded the extensiveness of the program as less positive. The adolescents also seemed to be positive about the use of Up2U during one-to-one conversations, particularly concerning the questions asked by the care workers. With regard to the implementation of Up2U, almost half of the care workers expressed dissatisfaction. In conclusion, although both care workers and adolescents were generally satisfied with Up2U, there is still room for improvement, especially with regard to the implementation of the training program. We therefore recommend devoting greater attention to implementation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild and Youth Services
Publication statusSubmitted - 1-Apr-2020

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