Implementation of Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Leads to Less Reduction in Risky Use: A Cautionary Tale
Controlled clinical trials have found efficacy for alcohol screening and brief intervention (ASBI), but dissemination of the practice has been difficult. Researchers in the Netherlands conducted a randomized trial of ASBI implementation in 70 general practices including 6318 patients, 712 of whom had nondependent risky drinking.* Intervention-group practices received ASBI training, reminder cards, practice guidelines, a feedback report, facilitated linkage with a local addiction treatment program, outreach visits, mailings and posters for patients, and personalized feedback for patients. Control-group practices were mailed practice guidelines and patient letters only.
- At 2 years, patients in intervention practices were significantly less likely than patients in control practices to be abstinent or to have low-risk drinking (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT] scores <8) (36% versus 47%, respectively). They were also significantly more likely to be drinking hazardous amounts (AUDIT scores 8–15) (59% versus 47%, respectively).