OBJECTIVE: to explore and describe how healthcare professionals in the Southern Region of Denmark experienced motivational interviewing as a communication method when working with pregnant women with obesity.
DESIGN: a qualitative, descriptive study based on face-to-face interviews with 11 obstetric healthcare professionals working in a perinatal setting.
METHODS: a thematic descriptive method was applied to semi-structured interviews. The healthcare professional's experiences were recorded verbatim during individual semi-structured qualitative interviews, transcribed, and analysed using a descriptive analysis methodology.
FINDINGS: motivational interviewing was found to be a useful method when communicating with obese pregnant women. The method made the healthcare professionals more aware of their own communication style both when encountering pregnant women and in their interaction with colleagues. However, most of the healthcare professionals emphasised that time was crucial and they had to be dedicated to the motivational interviewing method. The healthcare professionals further stated that it enabled them to become more professional in their daily work and made some of them feel less 'burned out', 'powerless' and 'stressed' as they felt they had a communication method in handling difficult workloads.
CONCLUSION: healthcare professionals experienced motivational interviewing to be a useful method when working perinatally. The motivational interviewing method permitted heightened awareness of the healthcare professionals communication method with the patients and increased their ability to handle a difficult workload. Overall, lack of time restricted the use of the motivational interviewing method on a daily basis.