Home > Delivering alcohol IBA in housing, probation and social work settings: opportunities and constraints.

Thom, Betsy and Herring, Rachel and Bayley, Marianna and Hafford-Letchfield, Trish [Alcohol Research UK] . (2016) Delivering alcohol IBA in housing, probation and social work settings: opportunities and constraints. Middlesex: Alcohol Research UK and Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Middlesex University. 76 p.

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Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) has been advocated by health organisations such as NICE to promote and a range of lifestyle health behaviours, for example physical activity and smoking cessation, and to encourage early intervention in risky or problem behaviours, including alcohol use (NICE 2013; 2006). Other related terms are SBI (Screening and Brief Intervention), OBI (Opportunistic Brief Intervention) and ABI (Alcohol Brief Interventions). Typically alcohol IBA includes use of a validated screening tool such as AUDIT - Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (Babor et al., 2001), followed by brief advice: ‘a short, evidence-based, structured conversation with a patient/service user that seeks in a non-confrontational way to motivate and support the individual to think about and/or plan a change in their behaviour’ (NHS Health Scotland 2011).


As alcohol IBA has been found effective in medical/clinical/specialist settings (Kaner et al., 2007; 2013), there has been a drive to expand its use beyond these contexts into a range of other settings, to encourage wider groups of professionals – such as pharmacists, educationalists, youth workers, social workers and criminal justice professionals to incorporate IBA approaches into their everyday practice. However, whilst there is good evidence for its use and effectiveness within general practice and hospital settings, its acceptability and effectiveness in a wider range of contexts is less clear, and there are continuing problems implementing IBA even within the traditional health care contexts.


As part of a larger study, we conducted three case studies to examine the issues that arise in attempting to introduce and sustain the delivery of IBA into everyday practice in housing, probation and social work contexts.

Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Report
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder treatment method, AOD disorder harm reduction, Psychosocial treatment method, Screening
Source:Alcohol Research UK
Date:June 2016
Pages:76 p.
Publisher:Alcohol Research UK and Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Middlesex University
Place of Publication:Middlesex
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Alcohol
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
MA-ML Social science, culture and community > Social condition > Homelessness > Homeless services
MM-MO Crime and law > Criminal penalty > Community service (penalty) > Probation or parole
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Social services
T Demographic characteristics > Substance or health care worker
T Demographic characteristics > Social worker
T Demographic characteristics > Homeless person
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom

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