First instalment of a fortnightly course on the evidence for alcohol treatment selects, explains and discusses seminal and key research on the effectiveness of screening and brief interventions.
“Inconclusive” was the verdict of a review which aimed to assess the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions among patients aged 11 to 21 attending for emergency care in the USA. Most promising targets seem to have been the more heavily or irresponsibly drinking among patients who were young adults rather than adolescents.
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.
This briefing paper produced by the Alcohol Academy warns that unless decisive and coordinated action is taken the effectiveness of the UK’s current approach to alcohol brief interventions will wane, hampering the programme’s ability to deliver important benefits to those at risk from harmful levels of drinking.
A major new review of alcohol brief interventions is now available on our website. The review considers the evidence base on the delivery of identification and brief advice in a wide range of settings. It concludes that broader delivery of IBA is feasible, but requires strong organisational support, effective training and financial investment.
Findings from an Alcohol Research UK-funded study of IBA activity in emergency departments have been published in Emergency Medicine Journal. The study, by Robert Patton and and Pat O’Hara (Kings College, London), found that there had been ‘significant improvement in ED alcohol identification and brief advice since 2007.
Professor Paul Wallace and Stuart Linke give an overview of the Down Your Drink online screening and brief advice website.