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: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

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

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...