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New Developments in Brief Interventions to Treat Problem Drinking in Nonspecialty Health Care Settings

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Graeme Wilson, Professor Eileen KanerORCiD


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The delivery of brief interventions (BIs) in health care settings to reduce problematic alcohol consumption is a key preventive strategy for public health. However, evidence of effectiveness beyond primary care is inconsistent. Patient populations and intervention components are heterogeneous. Also, evidence for successful implementation strategies is limited. In this article, recent literature is reviewed covering BI effectiveness for patient populations and subgroups, and design and implementation of BIs. Support is evident for short-term effectiveness in hospital settings, but long-term effects may be confounded by changes in control groups. Limited evidence suggests effectiveness with young patients not admitted as a consequence of alcohol, dependent patients, and binge drinkers. Influential BI components include high-quality change plans and provider characteristics. Health professionals endorse BI and feel confident in delivering it, but training and support initiatives continue to show no significant effects on uptake, prompting calls for systematic approaches to implementing BI in health care.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilson GB, Heather N, Kaner EFS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Psychiatry Reports

Year: 2011

Volume: 13

Issue: 5

Pages: 422-429

Print publication date: 09/07/2011

ISSN (print): 1523-3812

ISSN (electronic): 1535-1645

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11920-011-0219-x


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