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Findings from this multi-university study in New Zealand seem an example of trials of brief alcohol interventions as they would be implemented in routine practice failing to match more promising findings from trials conducted in less ‘real world’ circumstances.
A rare ‘real world’ trial of whether a routine and feasible brief alcohol intervention can have population-wide public health benefits found that among university students in Sweden, web-based screening had very minor impacts which were not enhanced by feeding back the results.
‘Do just the minimum’ seems the message of the emergency department arm of the largest alcohol screening and brief intervention study yet conducted in Britain; the proportion of risky drinkers fell no less after a brief warning than after more sophisticated and longer interventions.
STUDY 2012 HTM file
Alcohol screening and brief intervention in emergency departments
The emergency department arm of the largest alcohol screening and brief intervention study yet conducted in Britain found that the proportion of risky drinkers fell just as much after the most minimal of screening and intervention methods as after more sophisticated and longer (but still brief) alternatives.
Applying a systematic and comprehensive framework to map the strategies trialled in attempts to implement screening and counselling for risky drinking primary care patients gives some clues to what it has taken to achieve a high screening rate, the essential first step in the process.
Swiss study of brief alcohol interventions with a representative sample of heavy drinking young men exposed the determining influence on later drinking of the practitioner’s competence in motivational interviewing and how they behave in the session.
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.
HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Computerised therapies: sacrificing effectiveness for wider access?
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Among culturally accepted vehicles for delivering substance use interventions, computers, mobile phones and tablets are joining face-to-face work. Are we sacrificing effectiveness for convenience and economy?
The primary care arm of the largest alcohol screening and brief intervention study yet conducted in Britain found that the proportion of risky drinkers fell just as much after the most minimal of screening and intervention methods as after more sophisticated and longer (but still brief) alternatives.
Personalised, interactive, and motivational approaches dominate in this study of the effectiveness of single-session brief interventions for heavy-drinking college students. But, overall the effects of brief interventions remain modest in clinical terms.
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