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Brief opportunistic intervention : the role of psychologists in initiating self-change amongst problem drinkers

Sitharthan , G. , Sitharthan , T. , Kavanagh, D. J., & Saunders, J.B (2001) Brief opportunistic intervention : the role of psychologists in initiating self-change amongst problem drinkers. Australian Psychologist, 36(3), pp. 219-226.

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Abstract

Excessive consumption of alcohol is a serious public health problem. While intensive treatments are suitable for those who are physically dependent on alcohol, they are not cost-effective options for the vast majority of problem drinkers who are not dependent. There is good evidence that brief interventions are effective in reducing overall alcohol consumption, alcohol-related problems, and health-care utilisation among nondependent problem drinkers. Psychologists are in an ideal position to opportunistically detect people who drink excessively and to offer them brief advice to reduce their drinking. In this paper we outline the process involved in providing brief opportunistic screening and intervention for problem drinkers. We also discuss methods that psychologists can employ if a client is not ready to reduce drinking, or is ambivalent about change. Depending on the client's level of motivation to change, psychologists can engage in either an education-clarification approach, a commitment-enhancement approach, or a skills-training approach. Routine engagement in opportunistic intervention is an important public-health approach to reducing alcohol-related harm in the community.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 29184
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Identification test AUDIT, Use disorders, Alcohol use, Screening instrument, Drinking, Drug, Consumption, Validation
DOI: 10.1080/00050060108259658
ISSN: 0005-0067
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2009 11:43
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 03:29

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