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Brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol... Brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol...

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Date added: 11/27/2014
Date modified: 12/04/2014
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Full title: Brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption in accident and emergency departments

by Marcin Wojnar and Andrzej Jakubczyk


The prevalence of alcohol abuse among patients treated in accident and emergency departments (A&E) is considered as substantial. This paper is a narrative review of studies investigating the effectiveness of brief interventions (BI) for hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption in A&E. A&E departments in hospitals (and other health care infrastructures) are commonly the place where serious consequences of alcohol drinking are seen and need to be tackled, supporting the suggested theoretical usefulness of delivering BI in this environment. Available research shows that BI may be considered a valuable technique for dealing with alcohol-related problems. However, it is suggested that the usefulness of BI may depend significantly on the target population to be dealt with. BI have proved to be beneficial for male individuals and those patients who do not abuse other psychoactive substances. In contrast, evidence indicates that BI in A&E settings are not effective at all when dealing with men admitted as a consequence of a violence-related event. In addition, some studies were unable to confirm the effectiveness of BI in female population, in emergency setting. Studies investigating the association between drinking patterns and the effectiveness of BI also present inconsistent results. Most studies assessing the effectiveness of BI in A&E settings only adopted a short perspective (looking at the impact up to a maximum of 12 months after the BI was delivered). When assessing the effects of BI, both the amount of alcohol consumed and expected reductions in alcohol consequences, such as injuries, can be taken into account. Evidence on the implementation of brief intervention in emergency departments remains inconclusive as to whether there are clear benefits. A variety of outcome measures and assessing procedures were used in the different studies, which have investigated this topic.

 

Screening and brief intervention for unhealthy drug use... Screening and brief intervention for unhealthy drug use...

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Date added: 11/27/2014
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Full title: Screening and brief intervention for unhealthy drug use: little or no efficacy

by Richard Saitz

Unhealthy drug use ranges from use that risks health harms through severe drug use disorders. This narrative review addresses whether screening and brief intervention (SBI), efficacious for risky alcohol use, has efficacy for reducing other drug use and consequences. Brief intervention among those seeking help shows some promise. Screening tools have been validated though most are neither brief nor simple enough for use in general health settings. Several randomized trials have tested the efficacy of brief intervention for unhealthy drug use identified by screening in general health settings (i.e., in people not seeking help for their drug use). Substantial evidence now suggests that efficacy is limited or non-existent. Reasons likely include a range of actual and perceived severity (or lack of severity), concomitant unhealthy alcohol use and comorbid mental health conditions, and the wide range of types of unhealthy drug use (e.g., from marijuana, to prescription drugs, to heroin). Although brief intervention may have some efficacy for unhealthy drug users seeking help, the model of SBI that has effects in primary care settings on risky alcohol use may not be efficacious for other drug use.

Mechanisms of action of brief alcohol interventions... Mechanisms of action of brief alcohol interventions...

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Date added: 11/27/2014
Date modified: 12/04/2014
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Full title: Mechanisms of action of brief alcohol interventions remain largely unknown – a narrative review

By Jacques Gaume, Jim McCambridge, Nicolas Bertholet and Jean-Bernard Daeppen

A growing body of evidence has shown the efficacy of brief intervention (BI) for hazardous and harmful alcohol use in primary health care settings. Evidence for efficacy in other settings and effectiveness when implemented at larger scale are disappointing. Indeed, BI comprises varying content; exploring BI content and mechanisms of action may be a promising way to enhance efficacy and effectiveness. Medline and PsychInfo, as well as references of retrieved publications were searched for original research or review on active ingredients (components or mechanisms) of face-to-face BIs [and its subtypes, including brief advice and brief motivational interviewing (BMI)] for alcohol. Overall, BI active ingredients have been scarcely investigated, almost only within BMI, and mostly among patients in the emergency room, young adults, and US college students. This body of research has shown that personalized feedback may be an effective component; specific MI techniques showed mixed findings; decisional balance findings tended to suggest a potential detrimental effect; while change plan exercises, advice to reduce or stop drinking, presenting alternative change options, and moderation strategies are promising but need further study. Client change talk is a potential mediator of BMI effects; change in norm perceptions and enhanced discrepancy between current behavior and broader life goals and values have received preliminary support; readiness to change was only partially supported as a mediator; while enhanced awareness of drinking, perceived risks/benefits of alcohol use, alcohol treatment seeking, and self-efficacy were seldom studied and have as yet found no significant support as such. Research is obviously limited and has provided no clear and consistent evidence on the mechanisms of alcohol BI. How BI achieves the effects seen in randomized trials remains mostly unknown and should be investigated to inform the development of more effective interventions.

Alcohol screening and brief intervention in workplace... Alcohol screening and brief intervention in workplace...

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Date added: 11/27/2014
Date modified: 12/04/2014
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Full title: Alcohol screening and brief intervention in workplace settings and social services: a comparison of literature

By Bernd Schulte, Amy Jane O’Donnell, Sinja Kastner, Christiane Sybille Schmidt, Ingo Schäfer and Jens Reimer

Methods: Update of two systematic reviews on ASBI effectiveness in workplaces, social service, and criminal justice settings. Review to identify implementation barriers and facilitators and future research needs of ASBI in non-medical settings.

Results: We found a limited number of randomized controlled trials in non-medical settings with an equivocal evidence of effectiveness of ASBI. In terms of barriers and facilitators to implementation, the heterogeneity of non-medical settings makes it challenging to draw overarching conclusions. In the workplace, employee concerns with regard to the consequences of self-disclosure appear to be key. For social services, the complexity of certain client needs suggest that a stepped and carefully tailored approach is likely to be required.

Discussion: Compared to PHC, the reviewed settings are far more heterogeneous in terms of client groups, external conditions, and the focus on substance use disorders. Thus, future research should try to systematize these differences, and consider their implications for the deliverability, acceptance, and potential effectiveness of ASBI for different target groups, organizational frameworks, and professionals.

Interpreting null findings from trials of alcohol brief interventions Interpreting null findings from trials of alcohol brief interventions

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Date added: 11/27/2014
Date modified: 12/04/2014
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Full title: Interpreting null findings from trials of alcohol brief interventions

By Nick Heather

The effectiveness of alcohol brief intervention (ABI) has been established by a succession of meta-analyses but, because the effects of ABI are small, null findings from randomized controlled trials are often reported and can sometimes lead to skepticism regarding the benefits of ABI in routine practice. This article first explains why null findings are likely to occur under null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) due to the phenomenon known as “the dance of the p-values.” A number of misconceptions about null findings are then described, using as an example the way in which the results of the primary care arm of a recent cluster-randomized trial of ABI in England (the SIPS project) have been misunderstood. These misinterpretations include the fallacy of “proving the null hypothesis” that lack of a significant difference between the means of sample groups can be taken as evidence of no difference between their population means, and the possible effects of this and related misunderstandings of the SIPS findings are examined. The mistaken inference that reductions in alcohol consumption seen in control groups from baseline to follow-up are evidence of real effects of control group procedures is then discussed and other possible reasons for such reductions, including regression to the mean, research participation effects, historical trends, and assessment reactivity, are described. From the standpoint of scientific progress, the chief problem about null findings under the conventional NHST approach is that it is not possible to distinguish “evidence of absence” from “absence of evidence.” By contrast, under a Bayesian approach, such a distinction is possible and it is explained how this approach could classify ABIs in particular settings or among particular populations as either truly ineffective or as of unknown effectiveness, thus accelerating progress in the field of ABI research.

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