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Evaluated across an entire region, a determined effort to implement alcohol screening and brief intervention in the US health system for ex-military personnel led to no significant reductions in drinking – results seen as a prime example of the disappointing impacts of alcohol brief interventions in real-world conditions.
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.
STUDY 2014 HTM file
The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of brief intervention for excessive alcohol consumption among people attending sexual health clinics: a randomised controlled trial (SHEAR)
A major study conducted in London did not find clinically important reductions in drinking among excessive drinkers offered a brief intervention while attending sexual health clinics, nor did brief intervention seem a cost-effective use of health service resources.
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.
Simulation exercise estimates that had either the main anti-relapse medications or brief interventions on hospital wards reached 40% of the heaviest and dependent drinkers, in 2004 they would have prevented nearly 12,000 deaths across the European Union.
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.
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.
Simulation study calculated health care cost savings and benefits for patients in England which make routine GP-based screening and brief advice for excessive drinking look an unmissable bargain, but the key assumptions derived from studies divorced from how interventions would routinely be implemented.
For the first time this US study tried mobile phone text messaging as a way to moderate the hazardous drinking of young adults screened at emergency departments. Compared to merely monitoring, text-based advice did cut drinking – but why did the monitoring-only patients actually start to drink more?
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.
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