Motivational interviewing as a means to decrease antimicrobial drug use in animal production

Last changed: 14 July 2021

A major challenge of our time is to reduce antimicrobial resistance. Accomplishing this necessitates decreasing and reconciling the use of antibiotics in livestock, which can be achieved by preventive management.

Despite scientific advances in how to reduce disease, veterinarians fail to engage farmers in adopting management and housing changes. This may be due to insufficient communication skills by the veterinarians. We therefore hypothesize that motivational interviewing (MI), an evidence-based, client-centered communication method for stimulating change, offers a solution. MI has been a successful method to reduce use of alcohol and tobacco and to support life style changes.

MI skills can be assessed quantitatively using the validated MI Treatment Integrity Code (MITI) or through Client Language Easy Rating coding to assess favorable inclinations to change during conversations (so called Change Talk). Change Talk has shown strong correlation to realizations of actual behavior. These and other instruments will be employed in three work packages to study two groups: veterinarians receiving MI training at the start (treatment) and at the end (control) of the project.

Basal communication in veterinarians engaged in advisory services will be characterized using MITI. We will evaluate a concept of MI training for veterinarians by comparing participants’ MI skills pre- and post-training. We will evaluate the effects of MI training on: farmer and veterinarian attitudes towards preventive veterinary medicine, farmer Change Talk, set up of farm health plans and implementation of preventive measures. The project will also supply material to investigate farmers’ reasons for adherence and non-adherence to veterinary advice.


The project explores novel means of reducing antimicrobial resistance and improving animal health.


Projekttid 2016-2020

Finansiär: Formas


Catarina Svensson
Professor at the Department of Clinical Sciences; Ruminant Medicine Unit

Telephone: +4618671391