Home > Alcohol Matrix cell A1: Interventions - screening and brief intervention.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2016) Alcohol Matrix cell A1: Interventions - screening and brief intervention. London: Drug and Alcohol Findings.

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The Alcohol Treatment Matrix is concerned with the treatment of alcohol-related problems among adults (another deals with drug-related problems). It maps the treatment universe and for each sub-territory (a cell) lists the most important UK-relevant research and guidance. Across the top, columns move from specific interventions through how their impacts are affected by the widening contexts of practitioners, management, the organisation, and whole local area treatment systems. Down the rows are the major intervention types implemented at these levels. Inside each cell is our pick of the most important documents relevant to the impact of that intervention type at that contextual level.

What is cell A1 about?

Screening and brief interventions are usually seen as public health measures, aiming to reduce alcohol-related harm across a population of drinkers rather than focusing on dependent individuals seeking treatment. Screening programmes aim to identify people at risk of or experiencing substance use problems who are not seeking help and would otherwise not be identified. Many are not at the stage where treatment is appropriate or desired, so the typical response is brief advice – the 'brief intervention'.

For a population-level impact a high proportion of risky-drinkers must be reached. In Britain, GPs' surgeries are the principal venue, but programmes are also mounted in other generic medical settings (eg, emergency departments) and have been tried in non-medical settings such as probation offices.

Typically a few standard questions are asked of all adult patients/clients or those in certain categories (eg, new patients, having health checks, suffering possibly alcohol-related conditions) to identify risky drinking. Those whose responses indicate hazardous/harmful drinking are then advised for what may be just a few minutes or one or two longer sessions. Patients whose scores indicate very serious problems may instead be more fully assessed and offered treatment.

Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:Psychosocial treatment method, Screening
Source:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Date:May 2016
Publisher:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Corporate Creators:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Place of Publication:London
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:B Substances > Alcohol
HA Screening, identification, and diagnostic method > Medical screening and diagnostic method
HA Screening, identification, and diagnostic method > Psychosocial screening and diagnostic method
HJ Treatment method > Psychosocial treatment method > Individual therapy > Brief intervention
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Identification and screening > Identification and screening for substance use
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Patient care management
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Care by type of problem > Emergency care
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Community-based treatment (primary care)
T Demographic characteristics > Substance or health care worker

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