Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taking Care of Business, Part II

In the last entry, I wrote about the following requirements for the term project:

1. Selection and characteristics of the user.
2. User's question.
3. Mode of and results from interview.
4. User model and changes in user model as the search progresses.

Today, I will be tackling the list below:

1. Construction and variations in search strategies and tactics.
2. Discussion of changes and reasons for these changes.
3. Consideration of modes of presentation of results.
4. User evaluation.
5. Resulting changes.

Construction and Variations in Search Strategies and Tactics

The construction of the search strategy used in this project was based primarily two elements: 1. reference interview questions and 2. evaluation of available online search systems. Although subtle in most cases, the variations in search strategies and tactics also were driven by the reference interviews, as well as the search results (e.g., a failure to produce relevant results in a given database would push me to search in a different database). Because successful results were produced so early in the search process, techniques typically used to augment searches, i.e., berrypicking, were not applied.

The reference interview questions, as seen in the previous post, went a long way toward shaping the search strategy. Knowing that Andrea specifically wanted applications of the motivational techniques to use for her work helped me to target the articles that would be of most help to her. Because she works in the dual-diagnosis field (people who not only battle addiction, but also live with other psychiatric disorders), it was easy to see that the Alcohol Studies Database in the Rutgers databases would be an excellent fit for the search.

The biggest change in strategy was when I felt that I had been able to find enough very relevant articles from the Alcohol Studies Database to resume searching on the web, albeit in a very target way. My goal was to find "nuts and bolts" as Andrea put it, not just studies of success or failures in the field. While she didn't explicitly state it, Andrea wanted guidelines and manuals. I made a decision not to search on the terms "guidelines" and "manuals" along with motivational interviewing because it seemed that the topic is such a specialized one (and because my success in just using those terms gave me confidence) that the results would lead me to the documents Andrea needed. All I needed to do was look in the right place.

Based on my previous professional experience, I selected some government sites which led me to uncover the MIA:STEP brochure. Andrea's feedback in the comments section of the entry where I explained my search strategy for finding that brochure were very confidence-building. She was elated to find the brochure and a link that had led her (independently) to find audio files on the entire motivational interviewing technique being applied with a patient. It was rewarding to find that my strategies and tactics were so successful.

Discussion of Changes and Reasons for These Changes

As noted earlier in this post, my changes were not significant in terms of the search terms. Instead, the changes were more evident in the selection of databases and free online resources. Because the previous topic above addresses this requirement, I will save space and move on to the next topic.

Consideration of Modes of Presentation of Results

This element of the term project was of particular importance to both Andrea and me because both of us are short on time due to work and school commitments. It also was a key consideration because we needed a web-based solution due to our geographical distance. The ability to be able to use this blog to accomplish the task solved all manner of potential issues.

For instance, I worried that I would have to scan miles of pages to email to Andrea. However, the articles were readily available to her through her work and school channels. Additionally, the ability to use Snag It (a very handy screen capture tool) to capture sections of search results and place those as jpgs within the blog was extraordinarily helpful to Andrea and me as we progressed through the search. I made sure to include instructions on viewing (e.g., click to view images larger) so that she could have an easy way to see the results.

The comments option of the blog also offered instant feedback options to Andrea. While she had difficulty initially (the fault was entirely mine, I had incorrectly set up the option, but corrected it quickly after being alerted to the problem), Andrea quickly used the comments option to give constructive and positive feedback during the search.

Using this blog for the presentation of results allowed me to go into as much or as little detail as needed to display what I had found. Additionally, the use of image capture technology along with the Blogger application allowed me to convey the results in an easy-to-use and easy-to-view way for Andrea.

User Evaluation

This element of the project was by far the most rewarding part of the experience. Andrea's enthusiastic responses to each of my search results (as seen in the comments of the posts) kept driving me forward to seek more information on motivational interviewing.

In order of appearance from oldest to newest, here are Andrea's comments:

1. Feedback on first search results using Google.

2. Comments on the results of using the Rutgers Indexes and Databases.

3. Feedback on my finding a very "nuts and bolts" article on motivational interviewing.

4. Comments on my findings at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services site.

Resulting Changes

As has been discussed earlier, due to the consistent relevant results of using the term "motivational interviewing", my search strategies and tactics did not change significantly during my efforts. Only the locations for searching changed significantly, from a free online search engine (Google), to the Rutgers Libraries' Indexes and Databases (Alcohol Studies Database and Social Sciences Full Text Database), back to a free online search engine (Resource Discovery Network), then back to a particularly successful Rutgers Libraries' database (Alcohol Studies Database), and finally, U.S. government web sites (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health).

Reflections and Conclusion

Looking back on the experience, I can think of this search as successful because the client was delighted by the results. However, knowing now what I do, I would have made a few slight changes in the search strategy in the use of a few additional terms. In my searches, I would have added the term "practice" with motivational interviewing because that is essentially what Andrea needed -- articles on the practice of the technique, not just research about it. Asking more and better questions during the reference interview would have led me to that conclusion earlier.

I enjoyed working within the Rutgers Library Indexes and Databases, however, I'm very much looking forward to the coming changes to the search and results interfaces as well as the handshaking improvements between the databases housed on external servers and the Rutgers system. At present, it's very klugy and inconsistent.

I also liked discovering all the helpful information provided by the U.S. government sites. It was surprising to see all the useful links and other resources that led both Andrea and me to discover even further useful information.

In conclusion, at the beginning of this project, I didn't expect it to be as enjoyable as it turned out to be. The credit for that sits squarely on the shoulders of my user Andrea, who provided such useful and rewarding feedback. I no longer feel lost in the weeds about searching for topics unknown to me because I can apply search strategies and tactics learned in Principles of Searching (as well as following my gut around the free web).

I also didn't expect to find so many useful resources so quickly. I'll be sure to tag them for my Delicious account. When I find time between term projects, take home exams, and papers. For now, I hope that the followers of this blog have learned a few things along with me. I look forward to the next searching adventure.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Taking Care of Business

Now that my client, Andrea is more than satisfied with the information I have provided, it's time to fulfill the requirements for the term project. This task will be done in stages, but for now, I will focus on the following sections:

1. Selection and characteristics of the user.
2. User's question.
3. Mode of and results from interview.
4. User model and changes in user model as the search progresses.

Selection and characteristics of the user

Selecting Andrea as my user was based on the facts that she is a recent graduate in her field of study, and new to the practice of drug and alcohol counseling, specifically in the area of dual-diagnosis. I felt that if I could help her develop her knowledge base in specific techniques, it would help her career. Andrea is an especially hard-working individual with a great deal of dedication to her field and continuing education. When I asked if she would be willing to participate in this project her reply was nothing short of enthusiastic. She welcomes new knowledge and is genuinely interested in the search process.

User's question

I first approached Andrea via email to ask if she would be interested in participating in the project. After she enthusiastically agreed, I spoke to her on the phone to clarify the scope of the project and discover what her topic would be. She introduced me to a technique she was practicing called "motivational interviewing". She told me that she wanted to know more about it; specifically, Andrea wanted to know how it was being applied to clients/patients with dual diagnoses (i.e., how professionals in the field use or have used motivational interviewing to help addicts and alcoholics who live with additional psychiatric diagnoses such as depression to cut down and eventually stop abusing substances).

Looking back on this contact on the project, I probably would have used the first opportunity to ask more questions, however, I approached this project early in the semester and had not yet read the reference interview questions in Bell's Librarian's Guide to Online Searching (2006, pp. 201-211).

Mode of and results from interview

Because the above was a very cursory discussion about the topic, for this purpose, I will not consider it the interview. Later, after a preliminary search on the topic to expand my knowledge on it, I was able to email Andrea the following questions:

1. Are there any other search terms you think I should try (or ones you have used)?
2. Have you already tried searching for this? If so, what worked and what didn't?
3. Are there any authors or names that you recommend I search?
4. How recent does the information need to be?
5. How will this information be used?
6. Are there any constraints on sources [for example, does it need to be only in English, can the sources be in any format (text files, pdfs, audio, video, etc)]

Andrea let me know that we should search from 2000 forward, that she would be using the information to improve her practice of the motivational interviewing technique at her place of work, and that documents need only be in English (regarding constraints). She had not yet tried searching on the topic.

After my preliminary search, Andrea informed me that I had discovered a resource from two of the top researchers in the field, William Miller and Stephen Rollnick. Additionally, she recommended two other search terms: payoff matrix and stages of change.

Finding such a valuable resource from Andrea provided searching confidence and a feeling of positive reinforcement. Her feedback was very encouraging and rewarding. It was good to find such a useful resource from the beginning because it provided both additional terms and citations on which to search if Andrea needed further information on topics not covered by the search later.

User model and changes in user model as the search progresses

The user modeling really came into play when I started searching in the Rutgers Libraries Indexes and Databases. I thought about the fields in which motivational interviewing and drug abuse counseling would fall, then searched the databases within those fields. I also thought about the clients Andrea might encounter, specifically adolescents and younger people as well as larger groups (e.g., women, retirees).

The Center of Alcohol Studies Library on Rutgers' Busch campus yielded great search results on just the term "motivational interviewing". As you can see from this post, the two terms Andrea suggested yielded mixed results. "states of change" was an important term in that it led me to search specifically in studies of alcoholism treatment, rather than drug abuse treatment in general. It appears that the phrase is used more widely in the former rather than the latter. Additionally, it was easier to find more materials to consider when searching on alcoholism than on drug abuse. It appears that motivational interviewing is may be more widely used in treating alcoholism than in drug abuse.

Overall, the user model didn't change that much over the life of the search because Andrea was so delighted with the information I had provided by using the three primary search terms ("motivational interviewing", "payoff matrix", and "states of change".) Because Andrea selected a topic so rich in recent research, we were rewarded early with useful information within articles, handbooks, and web sites.

For next time...

In the next blog post, I will be touching on the following topics:

1. Construction and variations in search strategies and tactics.
2. Discussion of changes and reasons for these changes.
3. Consideration of modes of presentation of results.
4. User evaluation.
5. Resulting changes.


Bell, S. (2006). Librarian’s Guide to Online Searching. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Friday, April 3, 2009

More Nuts and Bolts of Motivational Interviewing

In drilling down into the topic, I actually did NOT change my search terms. I still searched on "motivational interviewing" but what I did do was change the databases and places where I searched.

Because Andrea wants more application-type works on motivational interviewing, I went to the Alcohol Studies Database in the Rutgers databases.

There I found these potentially helpful articles:

On a different search, I started at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which led me to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. From SAMHSA, I found the Addition Technology Transfer Center Network. At the ATTCN, I found this page on Motivational Interviewing Assessment: Supervisory Tools for Enhancing Proficiency (MIA:STEP). It contains a link to a brochure that I'm sure will help Andrea in her work.

Additionally, I had great luck at the National Institutes of Health, where I came across the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In their Publications area of the site, I found lots of helpful information on treatment for Andrea. There were many guides and manuals. Especially this one -- to Andrea -- Is this another direction in which you would like to look?

Overall, I'm continually amazed at how much information I can find on this topic, even when Andrea has changed the nature of the query, just by using the same search terms. I wonder what this means.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Nuts and Bolts of Motivational Interviewing

In our last set of comments, Andrea noted that she would like more information on the nuts and bolts of motivational interviewing.

During our PoS class today, we were introduced to a number of different search engines. The one I selected to search for the nuts and bolts was Resource Discovery Network – UK, “UK's free national gateway to Internet resources for the learning, teaching and research community”.

This was the helpful article I found

It's about as nuts and bolts-y as you can get, but I will continue exploring the additional search engines from today's class.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Searching in Rutgers Libraries' Indexes and Databases

Because Andrea's topic falls under "Social Sciences," that's where I started in the Rutgers Libraries Indexes and Databases. I thought about searching in both Social Work and Psychology/Behavioral Sciences sections, so I opened two tabs in my browser to remind myself of each area of study.

I started in Psychology/Behavioral Sciences because it seemed like it might reveal more articles from the start. I picked several databases and opened tabs in my browser for each.

In the Alcohol Studies Database search, using the term "payoff matrix" yielded no results, however, "states of change" yielded many pages of results. I spent some time looking at the bibliographic citations to see if the titles could put me in the right direction.

Here's one of the best hits -- a book (click on image to increase size):

When I went back to search IRIS for some of the articles that weren't available through the databases, I discovered another search phrase: "motivation in alcohol treatment." I searched this and found many matches including another potentially useful book for Andrea to consider:

It also occurred to me to encourage Andrea to consider a field trip to the Center of Alcohol Studies Library on Rutgers' Busch campus, or to find out if a university library near her has borrowing privileges with the CASL, since there appear to be many valuable resources there on this topic.

After a bit of searching, I composed a short list of items for Andrea to review and see if they were articles she wished for me to obtain copies of or if she had access to the journals and books already.

Here is the list:

Alcohol Studies Database - Detailed Citation Report

Title: Integrating motivational interviewing and stages of change in addiction counseling.
Author: O'Mara, E.M.
Publication Date: 2005
Journal Name: Addiction Professional 3(5): 16-17; 19-22
Subject Headings: Motivation in Alcoholism Treatment * Motivation in Drug Abuse Treatment
ID Number: 200511189

Title: Motivational interviewing and stages of change: integrating best practices for substance abuse professionals.
Author: Tomlin, K.M., Richardson, H.
Publisher: Center City, MN * Hazelden
Publication Date: 2004
Source: viii + 231 pp.
Subject Headings: Motivation in Alcoholism Treatment * Counseling Alcoholics * Motivation in Drug Abuse Treatment * Counseling Drug Abusers
Format: Manual. 4
ID Number: 4096

Title: Women's steps of change and entry into drug abuse treatment: a multidimensional stages of change model
Author: Brown, V. B, Melchior, L. A, Panter, A. T, Slaughter, R., and Huba, G. J.
Publication Date: 2000
Journal Name: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 18(3): 231-240
Subject Headings: Women and Alcohol * Motivation in Alcoholism Treatment * Women and Drugs * Motivation in Drug Abuse Treatment
ID Number: 200008017

Title: Assessing drinkers' motivation for change: the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale (SOCRATES).
Author: Miller, W. R., Tonigan, J. S.
Publication Date: 1996
Journal Name: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 10: 81-89
Subject Headings: Motivation in Alcoholism Treatment ID Number: 9606652

Title: A study to test the effectiveness of the stages of change model in adolescent substance abuse clients using the SOCRATES.
Author: Carr, T.K.
Publisher: Capella University
Publication Date: 2004
Source: 108 pp. Ph.D. dissertation,
Subject Headings: Youth and Alcohol * Motivation in Alcoholism Treatment * Youth and Drugs * Motivation in Drug Abuse Treatment
ID Number: 200509041

Title: Stages of change and prenatal alcohol use.
Author: Chang, G, McNamara, T, Wilkins-Haug, L., and Orav, E.J.
Publication Date: 2007
Journal Name: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 32(1): 105-109
Subject Headings: Women and Alcohol * Etiology of Alcoholism ID Number: 200706135

Additionally, I used the Social Sciences Full Text database to access the Ovid system and search for "motivational interviewing" with the cross match of "drug abuse" which was suggested by the Ovid system.

Five hits were of particular interest:

Next steps:

1. Communicate the findings above to Andrea.
2. Ask if she wants the search to go in a different direction.
3. Ask if she is satisfied by the results above.
4. Ask what other topics might be useful to search, if this is not sufficient.

Search Strategy Update

In the previous post, I mentioned that I'd use the Dialindex, but after consideration regarding available materials, I decided to use the Rutgers Libraries Indexes and Databases to begin the search in detail (as described below).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Narrowing Down the Search

After Andrea's helpful comments on the previous post, I'm putting together a little search strategy for my next stage of the search.

1. Use the Dialindex to search the following terms:
a. William Miller
b. Stephen Rollnick
c. Payoff Matrix
d. Stages of Change

2. Use the publications that have records with those terms to search for articles that tell how other researchers/practitioners have applied the technique of motivational interviewing.

3. Search the publications more specifically for recovery goals as they apply to stages of change.

4. For my own interest, I also want to find studies showing rates of success for the technique.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The First Steps

In order to really help my friend Andrea out with her topic of motivational interviewing as it is used to decrease substance abuse behavior in co-occurring disorders (i.e., dual-diagnoses such as bipolar disorder and alcoholism), I first needed to find out more on the topic.

Step 1. Enter "motivational interviewing" into Google.

Result 1. The top result (other than an ad) was for "Motivational Interviewing Page," a site designed for clinicians, researchers, and trainers of the technique. Not bad for the first try!

The best part about this site is that it has a Library, fully stocked with resources on the topic!

What I learned was that this is a relatively new technique, having been applied to problem drinkers since the early 1980s.

New terms to apply to the search:

client-centered counseling style

resolve ambivalence

stimulate behavioral change

Now, I'm going to send Andrea the link and ask her to use the comments field below to tell me how I'm doing!