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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 Jan;33(1):95-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00815.x. Epub 2008 Oct 18.

Brief intervention for problem drinkers in a Chinese population: a randomized controlled trial in a hospital setting.

Author information

1
School of Nursing, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan. yftsai@mail.cgu.edu.tw

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcohol is a legal and accessible substance in Taiwan. As excessive alcohol has been linked to health and social problems, it is necessary to develop a brief, rapid, and low-cost tool to help health care providers deal with persons in Taiwan whose alcohol consumption has become hazardous or harmful to their health.

METHODS:

A randomized controlled clinical trial with 6- and 12-month follow-ups was designed. Eighteen medical/surgical units at a medical center in northern Taiwan were randomly assigned to 2 groups: experimental (n = 9) and control (n = 9). Inpatients on the units were enrolled if they met the following criteria: were older than 18 years, had no severe psychiatric illness, and were not pregnant. The experimental group (n = 138) received the intervention, a 15-minute counseling visit in which nurses screened participants using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), provided a health promotion booklet for adults, and individually discussed the booklet contents with patients based on their drinking level (AUDIT score). The control group (n = 137) received no treatment. Patterns of alcohol consumption were determined by AUDIT scores at baseline, 6, and 12 months later.

RESULTS:

Alcohol use disorders identification test scores decreased significantly in both groups at 6 months after the intervention, but did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. However, 12 months after the brief alcohol intervention, experimental subjects' AUDIT scores were significantly better than those of the control group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our brief alcohol intervention provided a 12-month benefit for problem drinkers in Taiwan.

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