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Korean J Fam Med. 2012 May;33(3):157-65. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2012.33.3.157. Epub 2012 May 24.

Effects of Brief Advice from Family Physicians on the Readiness to Change of Korean Male At-risk Drinkers.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.



This study examined the effects of the method of delivery of brief advice on the readiness to change in at-risk drinkers.


The participants were 103 at-risk male drinkers who visited Chungnam National University Hospital for general health examinations. Baseline data on drinking behavior, readiness to change drinking behavior, and sociodemographic characteristics were obtained from a questionnaire. Family physicians gave two minutes of advice by telephone or in-person. The brief advice comprised a simple statement that the patient's drinking exceeded the recommended limits and could lead to alcohol-related problems. It also included advice to moderate one's drinking. One month later, the readiness to change was assessed again by telephone. The improvement in the readiness to change according to each method of delivery was investigated.


Initially, among the 58-patient in-person advice group, 12 patients were in the precontemplation stage, 38 in the contemplation stage, and 8 in the action stage. One month after the advice was given to the patients, the distribution had changed significantly (P < 0.001) to 1, 21, and 36 patients, respectively. Among the 45-patient telephone advice group, 7 patients were in the precontemplation stage, 32 patients were in the contemplation stage, and 6 patients were in the action stage before the advice. The distribution had changed significantly (P < 0.001) to 1, 17, and 27 patients, respectively, 1 month after the advice.


These results suggest that brief advice by family physicians is effective in improving the readiness to change of at-risk drinkers, regardless of the delivery method.


Attitude; Counseling; Drinking; Physicians; Telephone

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