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REVIEW 2019 HTM file
Family-based prevention programmes for alcohol use in young people
Findings of this comprehensive review seem to almost entirely deflate what in the mid-2000s was a bubble of enthusiasm for parental programmes as a way to prevent or reduce drinking among teenagers – but despite this overall verdict, some interventions have had remarkable results.
HOT TOPIC 2018 HTM file
Computerised therapies: sacrificing effectiveness for wider access?
‘Hot topics’ offer background and analysis on important issues which sometimes generate heated debate. Among culturally accepted vehicles for delivering substance use interventions, computers, mobile phones and tablets are joining face-to-face work. Are we sacrificing effectiveness for convenience and economy?
REVIEW 2018 HTM file
The alliance in adult psychotherapy: a meta-analytic synthesis
Comprehensive review for the American Psychological Association concludes that the working relationship between clients and their counsellors or therapists is one of the largest and most consistent determinants of outcomes. Practice recommendations aim to help practitioners foster strong relationships.
Computerisation promises to spread the consumption-moderating benefits of alcohol screening and brief advice or treatment across the population, overcoming resource and access limitations to in-person interventions, but small and transient effects may not be enough to mitigate the health and social consequences of drinking.
In the Netherlands an intensive cognitive-behavioural treatment programme for problem drinkers based on messages sent via a web site between therapist and patient achieved substantial remission in drinking and improvements in health – promising results undermined somewhat by how few patients were followed up.
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.
Does it help to add a structured internet-based therapeutic programme to web access to a mutual aid network also geared to moderate drinking? Sustained extra moderation in the form of fewer days drinking was the clearest positive effect; less clear was whether it led to greater reductions in drink-related problems.
From the Netherlands, the first randomised controlled trial to evaluate internet-based therapy for problem drinking via text-chat conversations with a real therapist found this improved on an automated self-help option; on average alcohol intake was cut by nearly two-thirds.
Computer simulation suggests that health would improve and/or costs be reduced if on-line brief interventions and therapy were added to or replaced conventional alcohol-related health care; these results for the Netherlands are based on a simulation model applicable as an aid to national policymaking in other countries.
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.
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