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STUDY 2012 HTM file
Alcohol screening and brief intervention in probation
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 (but still brief) 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.
Amalgamated findings from studies of risky drinkers identified and counselled in primary care settings indicate that compared to screening and assessment only, brief counselling lead to greater reductions in drinking, gains reflected less strongly in some indicators of health. However, it is unclear whether the generally small impacts would be sustained in routine practice.
In England a brief primary care counselling programme for family members living with a relative with substance use problems unusually aims primarily to improve the family's lives and coping rather than that of the substance user. Even a year later it seems to have succeeded, and the improvements accumulated rather than faded.
Not just for adults, but teenagers and young adults too, with this analysis motivational interviewing seems confirmed as the leading evidence-based approach to reducing possibly or actually risky substance use among non-clinical populations not seeking treatment.
This synthesis of nine relevant studies of non-student adult samples confirmed that computer-delivered self-help interventions offer a low-cost way to extend the public health impact of interventions for risky drinkers. Yet to be shown is that they can replace therapists for severely dependent individuals seeking treatment.
REVIEW 2011 HTM file
Motivational interviewing for substance abuse
Across the most rigorous studies, this synthesis of the research finds therapies based on motivational interviewing better than doing nothing, but no more effective than usual/other treatments for problem drinkers and drugtakers – powerful further support for the 'Dodo bird' verdict that all bona fide therapies are equivalent.
Even dependent drinkers among Taiwanese hospital patients substantially cut back their drinking after being identified and offered brief advice, findings from a study which provides one of the most convincing demonstrations yet that brief intervention can work in this setting.
Better than 'treatment as usual' but not than other specific therapies are the headlines from the most comprehensive synthesis of motivational interviewing studies to date. Along the way are insights in to the equivocal value of manuals and of feeding back assessment results to patients.
With other similar work, this Canadian study suggests that internet-based programs which offer feedback to the user on their drinking in relation to the population and on the risks they may be running can lead to drinking reductions of the same order as face-to-face advice.
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