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Subst Abus. 2010 Oct;31(4):240-50. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2010.514242.

Inside the physician's black bag: critical ingredients of brief alcohol interventions.

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Department of Pediatrics and University Health Services, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53715-1381, USA.


Brief primary care interventions structured around patient workbooks have been shown to be effective in modifying hazardous drinking behavior. However, the critical ingredients of such interventions are not well understood, possibly contributing to their underutilization. Seventeen campus-based clinicians trained in a brief, workbook-based alcohol intervention participated in a qualitative study to identify the most promising clinician-patient interaction components within this shared approach, utilizing a focus group with the clinicians and ranking of the 24 workbook ingredients. Based on the clinicians' collective experience, consensus emerged around the perceived strength of 5 main components: (1) providing a summary of the patient's drinking level, (2) discussing drinking likes and dislikes, (3) discussing life goals, (4) encouraging a risk-reduction agreement, and (5) asking patients to track their drinking (on cards provided for this purpose). This is the first paper to examine primary care physician perspectives on potentially critical components of effective brief alcohol intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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