Evid Based Nurs 3:46 doi:10.1136/ebn.3.2.46
  • Treatment

Brief counselling by a primary care physician or nurse practitioner reduced alcohol consumption in high risk drinkers

 QUESTION: Is brief counselling given by a physician or nurse practitioner during a routine outpatient visit effective in reducing alcohol consumption among high risk drinkers?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment), blinded (outcome assessors), controlled trial with 6 months of follow up.


4 primary care internal medicine sites at a university medical centre in Massachusetts, USA.


530 patients between 21 and 70 years of age (mean age 44 y, 65% men) who were scheduled to be seen at 1 of the 4 primary care sites and who were high risk drinkers (men who drank >12 drinks/wk or binged on ≥5 drinks on ≥1 occasion in the previous month; or women who drank >9 drinks/wk or binged on ≥4 drinks on ≥1 occasion in the previous month). Patients were excluded if they were pregnant, planned to move out of the area within 1 year, did not have a telephone, were already in an alcohol …

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