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Psychother Res. 2015;25(4):435-44. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2014.897770. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Adapting a blended motivational interviewing and problem-solving intervention to address risky substance use amongst South Africans.

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a Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH), Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health , University of Cape Town , Cape Town , South Africa.


The purpose of this study was to examine the acceptability and initial substance use outcomes of a blended motivational interviewing (MI) and problem-solving therapy (PST) intervention, delivered by peer counsellors. Twenty people who scored at risk for substance use according to the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) received a five session blended MI-PST intervention and were assessed at baseline and at three months. An open-ended semi-structured interview, designed to identify possible factors that may hinder or promote the acceptability of the intervention was also conducted. Fifteen participants completed the intervention and the three-month follow-up. According to ASSIST scores, participants significantly reduced their substance use (p > 0.001) at the three-month follow-up. Randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate the effect of this intervention more rigorously.


South Africa; emergency departments; motivational interviewing; problem-solving therapy; task shifting

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