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Soc Sci Med. 1998 Jul;47(2):203-11.

Cost-effectiveness of strategies to market and train primary health care physicians in brief intervention techniques for hazardous alcohol use.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Australia.


The cost-effectiveness of strategies to market and train primary care physicians in brief intervention for hazardous alcohol consumption was examined. Physicians were randomly assigned to one of three marketing strategies designed to promote the "uptake" of a brief intervention package for hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. The strategies were direct mail, tele-marketing, or academic detailing. One hundred and twenty-seven of those physicians who requested the package during the marketing phase (phase 1) and who also agreed to participate in the training and support phase of the project (phase 2) were matched into one of three training and support conditions: training and no support, training and minimal support, training and maximal support. An additional 34 physicians were randomly selected and assigned to a control condition. The ultimate aim of training and support was to maximise physician screening and counselling rates. Tele-marketing was found to be more cost-effective than academic detailing and direct mail in promoting the uptake of the package. For the training and support phase costs and effects increased with the level of support, hence the issue to be considered is whether the additional cost incurred in moving from one strategy to another is warranted given the increase in the level of outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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