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Monday, January 14, 2013

When does change begin following screening and brief intervention among depressed problem drinkers?

Brief interventions are effective for problem drinking and reductions are known to occur in association with screening and assessment. 

The present study sought to assess, among participants (N = 202) in a clinical trial, how much change occurred between baseline assessment and a one-session brief intervention (S1), and the predictors of early change. The primary focus was on changes in the Beck Depression Inventory Fast Screen scores and alcohol consumption (standard drinks per week) prior to random allocation to nine further sessions addressing either depression, alcohol, or both problems.

There were large and clinically significant reductions between baseline and S1, with the strongest predictors being baseline scores in the relevant domain and change in the other domain. Client engagement was also predictive of early depression changes.

Monitoring progress in both domains from first contact, and provision of empathic care, followed by brief intervention appear to be useful for this high prevalence comorbidity.

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