Thursday, July 26, 2007

Problem Drinkers Find Help over the Phone

Dr. Grohol over at Psych Central reviewed a study that comes out in the August issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research that found that participants in the study were drinking less after three months.

"The researchers studied 897 people who went to see their primary care physician or family doctor for a non-alcohol related issue.
The people in the study received up to six sessions of protocol-driven telephone counseling based on principles of motivational interviewing and stages of readiness to change. Each telephone call was followed by a letter from the therapist that summarized the conversation.
The comparison group only received a pamphlet on healthy lifestyles.

After three months, patients in the counseling group were drinking less, the study found.Lead researcher Richard Brown, M.D., said that the study could empower time-strapped doctors to persuade reluctant alcoholism patients to seek treatment.

“The study shows that we shouldn’t just give up on those alcohol-dependent patients who cannot or choose not to get treatment. If we can identify these folks in primary care waiting rooms and provide telephone counseling … we can start to help many of these patients,” said Brown, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health."

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