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Just a few minutes with specially hired screening and intervention staff can make a difference to emergency patients' drinking, but in the real world the hospital's own staff will usually do this work. A US study tested this real-world scenario and still found (modest) drinking reductions.
STUDY 2006 PDF file 171Kb
Matching resources to needs is key to achieving 'wrap-around' care objectives
Linking treatment intake assessments to a computerised guide to local welfare and medical services transformed the assessments from redundant paperwork into a practical route to the reintegration services being advocated in Britain – and treatment completion rates doubled.
Interventions delivered by nurses did lead to a reduction in excessive drinking in their patients, but there seemed to be no advantage of a structured brief intervention over standard advice.
IN PRACTICE 2005 PDF file 927Kb
Barriers cleared in Endell Street
How a team in London's West End set about systematically overcoming the barriers which prevented the residents of a homelessness hostel getting the treatment they needed. The key step was simple – asking the residents just what it was which stood in the way.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 170Kb
'Real-world' studies show that medications do suppress heavy drinking
Three trials found that drugs commonly used to treat alcohol dependence improve outcomes for an appreciable minority of patients, even under conditions close to normal practice. Together they offer clues to who benefits most from each medication.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 154Kb
Hepatitis C therapy cost-effective for injectors
Two new analyses agree that despite relapse to drug use and imperfect adherence to a demanding medical regime, anti-viral therapy for hepatitis C infection in drug injectors cost-effectively prolongs and improves life.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 102Kb
More patients drop out after long waits for methadone prescribing
Combined implications of two British studies are that the longer someone waits for methadone treatment, the less likely they are to start it, and even if they do, they will have spent longer at risk from dependent heroin use.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 195Kb
Abused women gain more from holistic counselling
A major US government project found that women with substance use and mental health problems and traumatised by a history of sexual or physical abuse benefited most from services which offered integrated counselling addressing all these issues.
STUDY 2005 PDF file 145Kb
Screening and motivational interviews work with heroin and cocaine users
Substantial minorities of heroin and cocaine users identified while visiting a US hospital for medical care cut back after assessment and brief motivational counselling, extending the potential of this approach beyond heavy drinkers.
IN PRACTICE 2004 PDF file 418Kb
Giving the silent majority a voice
Constrained by guidelines and standards, a UK prescribing service could do little to respond to user survey feedback.
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