Researchers find medical inpatients with unhealthy alcohol use may benefit from brief intervention

Apr 23, 2009

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that some medical inpatients with unhealthy alcohol use may benefit from a brief intervention. The BUSM study appears in the May issue of Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

"Brief intervention shows promise for increasing receipt of treatment among alcohol-dependent women, particularly those with higher or an alcohol- attributable diagnosis," said lead author Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM, professor of medicine and epidemiology at BUSM and director of the Clinical Research and Education Unit at Boston Medical Center. "The intervention also shows promise for younger men with dependence and for decreasing consumption among those with nondependent, unhealthy alcohol use."

Screening and brief intervention for all adults with unhealthy alcohol use is recommended. Brief intervention has proven efficacy in decreasing and related consequences only in outpatients with unhealthy, but not dependent alcohol use. In the few inpatient studies on brief intervention, results were generally negative, making it likely that brief intervention has efficacy only in certain people and settings.

Of the 341 study participants, most had dependence and about half received motivational counseling sessions. Among subjects with nondependent, unhealthy alcohol use, brief intervention was significantly associated with fewer drinks per day and better physical health-related quality of life at three months. However, among those with dependence, intervention was associated with worse physical health-related quality of life and more hospital use and no changes in drinking. In adjusted analysis among those with and without dependence, brief intervention was not associated with mental health-related quality of life, alcohol problems or readiness to change.

Researchers further stated that contrary to their hypotheses; brief intervention had little effect on alcohol consumption. The dependent and nondependent groups had lower consumption at follow-up than at study entry. Factors other than, or in addition to, the brief intervention may have played a role in decreasing consumption, such as the subjects' medical illnesses, hospitalization and related services, natural history, regression to the mean, and a detailed research assessment of alcohol use that may have motivated change.

Source: Boston University

Explore further: More than one-third of kids in England are overweight/obese

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Intervention method reduces binge drinking

Jan 30, 2009

Brief but personal intervention reduces drinking among risky college drinkers, according to a research study at The University of Texas School of Public Health. Results of the study will be published in the February issue ...

Researchers: Program discourages HIV transmission in Russia

Jul 11, 2008

(Boston)-Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) found that sexual behavior counseling during drug addiction treatment should be considered an important component among ...

Fetal alcohol study uncovers new facts

Jan 23, 2007

U.S. medical researchers have found cholesterol supplementation prevents fetal alcohol spectrum defects in alcohol-exposed zebra fish embryos.

Recommended for you

Can Lean Management improve hospitals?

58 minutes ago

Waiting times in hospital emergency departments could be cut with the introduction of Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques according to new research.

Research finds 90 percent of home chefs contaminate food

1 hour ago

If you're gearing up for a big Super Bowl bash, you might want to consult the best food-handling practices before preparing that feast. New research from Kansas State University finds that most home chefs drop the ball on ...

Unique EarlyBird study set for historic third phase

3 hours ago

A unique study which has followed 300 young people from age five since 2000, has received backing for a third phase which will see it become the first study of its kind in the world to track the same group ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.