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An outcome evaluation of a hospital-based early intervention program

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Aim. To determine the effectiveness of the Health Care Intervention Service (HIS), an early intervention program for general hospital patients with alcohol dependence or at risk for alcohol dependence . Design, setting and participants. HIS consists of screening, assessment and assignment to either full or risk-reduction intervention. Full intervention includes a referral to treatment. Outcomes were compared across three groups: those who received a full intervention, those who received a risk-reduction intervention, and a comparison group of similar patients from hospitals with no HIS program. Patients were screened for alcohol involvement and interviewed during their hospitalization (prior to the intervention in HIS hospitals) and again 6 months following the intervention . Findings. Full intervention was effective in increasing the probability of abstinence, reducing the number of heavy drinking days, and encouraging patients to accept the referral to treatment. Risk-reduction intervention was effective in reducing alcohol consumption and consequences, but only for those patients who had some signs of dependence at the first interview . Conclusions. HIS has demonstrated its effectiveness in a "real world" bureaucratic and clinical environment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-04-01

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