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REVIEW 2012 HTM file
Computer based alcohol interventions
Worth trying but unproven for the UK and the general population and need evaluating, was the message of this review for the health service in Scotland of computer-based alcohol interventions as possible ways to extend the reach of treatment and of the national brief intervention programme.
UK government-funded pilot schemes found no crime reduction benefits from brief alcohol counselling for arrestees under the influence of drink, disappointing hopes that arrest referral would help quell late-night alcohol-related disorder. The schemes did however uncover many dependent drinkers.
Hospital nurses in Sydney in Australia were trained to implement a new screening and intervention policy aiming to upgrade the identification of hazardous drinkers and other substance users among medical and surgical inpatients. Disappointing results highlight the need to do more than inform and exhort if practice is to change.
From England’s gatekeeper to the public provision of health services, guidance for commissioners on how to organise and procure alcohol treatment and brief intervention services in an area which implement related national clinical guidance and satisfy policy requirements.
DOCUMENT 2011 HTM file
Alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use quality standard
From the UK health service standard-setting agency, a concise statement of 13 practices which constitute high quality health care for problem drinkers and good practice in identifying and advising hazardous drinkers - standards which may be used to assess and reward providers and health service commissioning authorities.
UK-focused review for Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence of what impedes or promotes the implementation of brief alcohol interventions at the level of the organisation, the staff doing the work, and the patients targeted by the programme.
At three London hospitals 4% of inpatients completed a brief alcohol intervention after being screened for hazardous drinking by ward staff. Staff were positive and on one ward nearly half the patients were screened and one in ten counselled, but the overall results are unlikely to dent the public health burden imposed by risky drinking.
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.
No matter which dissemination strategy was tried, just 4 in 10 GPs in Germany logged in to a government funded online alcohol intervention education and support system. Even among the few practices who joined the study, training was poorly attended.
Seven years after the first alcohol harm reduction strategy for England, this audit finds treatment access and brief intervention work has progressed in London but funding is often precarious and GP services are surprisingly under-developed.
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