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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?
Based on research findings, a practical US government guide for trauma centres dealing with serious injuries on how to plan, implement and monitor a programme to identify risky drinking among their patients and to offer appropriate advice and referral.
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.
When an addiction psychiatrist modelled good alcohol assessment practice while accompanying doctors once a week during their ward rounds, the result was steeply increased rates of correct diagnosis of drink problems and of referral to treatment, offering an alternative to possibly unwelcome training or direction of clinical staff.
‘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.
The probation arm of the largest alcohol screening and brief intervention study yet conducted in Britain found that the proportion of offenders drinking at risky levels fell just as much after the most minimal of screening and intervention methods as after more sophisticated and longer alternatives.
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.
STUDY 2014 HTM file
Monitoring and evaluating Scotland’s alcohol strategy. Fourth annual report
Report evaluating Scotland’s national alcohol strategy concludes that changes to alcohol licensing laws are unlikely to have affected alcohol-related harm, but that the ban on quantity discounts in the off-trade and increased delivery of brief interventions may have contributed to recent declines in alcohol consumption and harms.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Alcohol problems in the criminal justice system: an opportunity for intervention
Based largely on prior research analyses and guidelines from the UK, these international guidelines offer an integrated model of best practice care for problem-drinking prisoners, grounded in research specific to prisons and in potentially applicable research in other settings.
Can college health clinics do widespread screening and brief alcohol advice? Yes they can, is one conclusion of this first large-scale test conducted at five North American universities. The other main conclusion – that by doing so they make worthwhile reductions in drinking and related harm – is weakened by the small size of the impacts.
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