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Promoting brief alcohol intervention by nurses in primary care: A cluster randomised controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Eileen KanerORCiD, Dr Katie Haighton, Paul McNamee, Emeritus Professor Senga Bond


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This trial evaluated the clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of strategies promoting screening and brief alcohol intervention (SBI) by nurses in primary care. Randomisation was at the level of the practice and the interventions were: written guidelines (controls, n=76); outreach training (n=68); and training plus telephone-based support (n=68). After 3 months, just 39% of controls implemented the SBI programme compared to 74% of nurses in trained practices and 71% in trained and supported practices. Controls also screened fewer patients and delivered fewer brief interventions to risk drinkers than other colleagues. However, there was a trade-off between the extent and the appropriateness of brief intervention delivery with controls displaying the least errors in overall patient management. Thus cost-effectiveness ratios (cost per patient appropriately treated) were similar between the three strategies. Given the potential for anxiety due to misdirected advice about alcohol-related risk, the balance of evidence favoured the use of written guidelines to promote SBI by nurses in primary care. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kaner E, Lock C, Heather N, McNamee P, Bond S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Patient Education and Counseling

Year: 2003

Volume: 51

Issue: 3

Pages: 277-284

ISSN (print): 0738-3991

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5134

Publisher: Elsevier Ireland


DOI: 10.1016/S0738-3991(02)00242-2

PubMed id: 14630384


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