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Systematically applying simple prompts and motivators can improve aftercare attendance and help sustain progress made during initial residential treatment, offering a way to preserve the benefits of the investment made by patients, services and funders.
Up to a year after starting methadone treatment US patients offered virtually no counselling for the first four months were still doing as well as those offered regular counselling. But there is a hint that intensive and high quality counselling enabled more to safely leave treatment.
COLLECTION 2016 HTM file
The common core of therapy
‘Collections’ are customised Effectiveness Bank searches not available via the standard options in the search pages. Lists entries relating to ‘Dodo bird’ findings that all bona fide therapies tend to have similar effects. Across mental health and behavioural problems, such findings have turned attention to the ‘common factors’ shared by therapies rather than how they differ.
DOCUMENT 1991 HTM file
Persuasion and Healing: a Comparative Study of Psychotherapy
First published in 1961, Jerome D. Frank’s book Persuasion and Healing was a pioneering insight into the important components shared by effective therapies in mental health including the addictions, components now widely acknowledged as more influential than the specific theories and methods of different approaches.
HOT TOPIC 2016 HTM file
What makes for an effective treatment service?
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Different treatment services can vary hugely in their outcomes. What characterises an effective treatment service, and how can these attributes be boosted?
STUDY 1997 HTM file
Performance contracting for substance abuse treatment
This US study finds that performance contracting may be associated with improvements in service utilisation and treatment outcomes, but does not appear to increase engagement with under-served populations.
REVIEW 2015 HTM file
Prevention of addictive behaviours
Based largely on existing reviews, this report for the German Federal Centre for Health Education comprehensively assesses substance use prevention approaches. Among its many conclusions are that approaches based solely on information provision are ineffective, in contrast to the more positive evidence for lifeskills and multi-component community programmes.
From Brazilian primary care clinics a rare confirmation that a positive organisational climate featuring commitment to staff professional development and good links with the local community is associated with overcoming barriers to widely implementing screening and brief intervention programmes.
When a patient has screened positive for risky drinking, up pops a computerised prompt to remind the clinician to consider counselling. In one service for US ex-military personnel, this resulted in nearly three quarters of patients being counselled and a hint of consequentially reduced drinking; at another, findings were negative. Why the difference?
US trauma centres dealing with serious and often alcohol-related injuries ought to offer an environment conducive to brief alcohol interventions, but this first multi-site trial found motivational counselling more effective than minimal advice only when combined with a follow-up ‘booster’ phone call.
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