Motivational Interviewing for Victims of Armed Community Violence: A Nonexperimental Pilot Feasibility Study

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Objective: The present study aimed to develop a novel, hospital-based motivational interviewing (MI) intervention for victims of armed community violence (MI-VoV) targeting patient-specific risk factors for future violence or violent victimization. Method: This uncontrolled pilot feasibility study examined a sample of patients (n = 71) hospitalized due to violent injury at a Level 1 Trauma Center in [Location Redacted for Masked Review] between January 2013 and May 2014. Patients first participated in a brief assessment to identify risk factors for violence/violent injury. A single MI session then targeted risk behaviors identified for each patient. Proximal outcomes, including motivation for change and behaviors to reduce risk, were examined at 2 weeks and 6–12 weeks postdischarge. Distal outcomes, including fighting, weapon-carrying, and gun-carrying, and other violence risk factors were examined at 6- to 12-week follow-up. Results: An estimated 95 patients were offered participation, 79 (83.2%) agreed to participate, and 73 (76.8%) completed the risk assessment. Of these, 71 had at least 1 violence/violent injury risk factor. Behaviors to reduce risk were significantly greater at 2-week and 6-to 12-week follow-up (p values < .05). Fighting, weapon-carrying, and gun-carrying were significantly reduced at 6- to 12-week follow-up (p values < .05). Conclusions: This intervention appears to be feasible to implement and acceptable to patients. A randomized controlled trial evaluating efficacy appears warranted.

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