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Am J Public Health. 1996 Jul;86(7):948-55.

A cross-national trial of brief interventions with heavy drinkers. WHO Brief Intervention Study Group.

[No authors listed]

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The relative effects of simple advice and brief counseling were evaluated with heavy drinkers identified in primary care and other health settings in eight countries.

METHODS:

Subjects (1260 men, 299 women) with no prior history of alcohol dependence were selected if they consumed alcohol with sufficient frequency or intensity to be considered at risk of alcohol-related problems. Subjects were randomly assigned to a control group, a simple advice group, or a group receiving brief counseling. Seventy-five percent of subjects were evaluated 9 months later.

RESULTS:

Male patients exposed to the interventions reported approximately 17% lower average daily alcohol consumption than those in the control group. Reductions in the intensity of drinking were approximately 10%. For women, significant reductions were observed in both the control and the intervention groups. Five minutes of simple advice were as effective as 20 minutes of brief counseling.

CONCLUSIONS:

Brief interventions are consistently robust across health care settings and sociocultural groups and can make a significant contribution to the secondary prevention of alcohol-related problems if they are widely used in primary care.

PMID:
8669518
PMCID:
PMC1380435
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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