Brief Alcohol Abuse Interventions in Hospitals are Effective

Brief alcohol abuse interventions delivered in a hospital are a simple and effective way to help heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption.

That's the finding of a study in a large English teaching hospital. Patients who screened positive for alcohol consumption in excess of national recommended limits were randomly assigned to receive:

  1. a face-to-face self-efficacy enhancement intervention,
  2. a self-help booklet intervention, or
  3. usual care.

Compared to the usual care group, the face-to-face self-efficacy enhancement group and the self-help booklet group reported significantly greater reductions in weekly alcohol consumption.

These findings are consistent with other research indicating the effectiveness of brief alcohol abuse interventions delivered in medical and other settings.


  • Holloway AS, Watson HE, Arthur AJ, Starr G, McFadyen AK, and McIntosh J. The effect of brief interventions on alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers in a general hospital setting. Addiction, 2007, DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01968.x

Filed Under: Health