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Brief counselling by doctor can produce useful reductions in drinking: Study

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Washington | October 17, 2021 3:17:28 PM IST
A recent study found the alcohol-targeted brief interventions when delivered in medical settings, can produce useful reductions in drinking.

Published in the scientific journal 'Addiction', the findings suggest that structured, one-to-one, short conversations about drinking, designed to motivate changes in risky behaviour, when delivered in doctors' offices and similar medical settings, might produce small but useful reductions in drinking.

Alcohol-targeted brief interventions yielded small beneficial effects on alcohol use, equivalent to a reduction in 1 drinking day per month. Interestingly, the findings were inconclusive for brief interventions delivered in the emergency department/trauma centres but were effective when delivered in other general medical settings (e.g., a primary care clinic).

There was limited evidence regarding the effects of drug-targeted brief interventions on drug use.

Lead author Emily Tanner-Smith comments: "A reduction of one drinking day per month may not sound like much, but small individual reductions can add up to a substantial reduction in population-level harms. Given their brevity, low cost, and minimal clinician effort, brief interventions may be a promising way to reduce alcohol use, one patient at a time." (ANI)

 
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