Screening and brief intervention of alcohol problems in primary care in South Africa: a brief report
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The aim of this randomised controlled trial was to provide screening and brief intervention for alcohol problems in a primary care setting in South Africa. Outpatients were screened for hazardous or harmful alcohol use and were randomised into an experimental (one brief counselling session) or control group (received an alcohol health education leaflet). The study population hazardous or harmful drinkers (N = 140) consisted of 105 male and 35 female women, with a mean age of 30.4 years (SD = 6.6). Among the 128 (91.4%) primary care outpatients who also attended the 6-month follow-up session, the time effects on the AUDIT scores were significant but the intervention effect on the AUDIT score was statistically not significant. It would seem that alcohol screening and the provision of an alcohol health education leaflet may in itself cause reduction in drinking.