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[Drug and Alcohol Findings] (2013) Effectiveness Bank Bulletin [Brief interventions for impaired drivers]. Drug and Alcohol Findings. Effectiveness Bank Bulletin, 17 Jan

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The role of demographic characteristics and readiness to change in 12-month outcome from two distinct brief interventions for impaired drivers.
Brown T.G., Dongier M., Ouimet M.C. et al. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment: 2012, 42, p. 383–391.

Can repeat drink-driving offenders be swayed by just 30 minutes with a therapist, and would those minutes best be spent in motivational interviewing or providing information on alcohol? This Canadian study hints that 'Yes' is the answer to both questions – but only hints.

Summary
The featured report was based on a study which tested the effectiveness of a brief face-to-face counselling intervention based on motivational interviewing offered to drink-driving offenders living near Montreal in Canada. It aimed to test whether certain types of drink-drivers had responded best to the intervention. This account also includes findings from an earlier report from the same study evaluating whether motivational interviewing improved outcomes overall.

Participants were recruited via adverts and via letters from the province's licensing authority asking recipients to help clarify how best to convey information on the risks of alcohol misuse. 184 people joined the study and provided baseline and follow-up data. They were selected to be adults convicted of at least two offences of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs in the past 15 years and whom the AUDIT questionnaire administered by the researchers showed had in the past six months still been drinking at problem levels. They were also selected to currently not be engaged with any other intervention targeted at drink-driving. Typically they were single men in their 40s. Around half currently met criteria for being dependent on alcohol and two thirds scored on a standard questionnaire as feeling some degree of ambivalence about the need to change their drinking.

Participants were randomly allocated to one of two half-hour interventions delivered face to face by the same therapists, who were trained and monitored to ensure they stuck to the respective manuals and approaches. The motivational interviewing approach involved an empathic interviewing style attempting to resolve client ambivalence to facilitate the desired behaviour change without arguing with the client or confronting resistance. Though manualised for the study, the therapists could adapt the content to suit the client. The comparison intervention lacked motivational interviewing's specific therapeutic; therapists simply delivered a prepared script covering the risks of excessive drinking and drink-driving, non-specific advice about alcohol misuse, and substance use treatment options.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Review
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction, Psychosocial treatment method
Source:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Date:17 January 2013
Publisher:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Volume:17 Jan
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Substance related societal (social) problems > Alcohol / drinking and driving
HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
HJ Treatment method > Psychosocial treatment method > Individual therapy > Brief intervention
HJ Treatment method > Psychosocial treatment method > Motivational interviewing
HJ Treatment method > Psychosocial treatment method
B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use > Alcohol intoxication
VA Geographic area > Canada

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