The early history of ideas on brief interventions for alcohol.

McCambridge, J; Cunningham, JA; (2014) The early history of ideas on brief interventions for alcohol. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 109 (4). pp. 538-46. ISSN 0965-2140 DOI:

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AIMS: This study explores the early development of brief interventions for alcohol using a history of ideas approach with a particular focus on intervention content.<br/> METHODS: The source publications of the key primary studies published from approximately 1962 to 1992 were examined, followed by a brief review of the earliest reviews in this field. These studies were placed in the context of developments in alcohol research and in public health.<br/> RESULTS: After early pioneering work on brief interventions, further advances were not made until thinking about alcohol problems and their treatment, most notably on controlled drinking, along with wider changes in public health, created new conditions for progress. There was then a golden era of rapid advance in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when preventing the development of problem drinking became important for public health reasons, in addition to helping already problematic drinkers. Many research challenges identified at that time remain to be met. The content of brief interventions changed over the period of study, although not in ways well informed by research advances, and there were also obvious continuities, with a renewed emphasis on the facilitation of self-change being one important consequence of the development of internet applications.<br/> CONCLUSIONS: Ideas about brief interventions have changed in important ways. Brief interventions have been studied with different populations of drinkers, with aims embracing both individual and population-level perspectives, and without well-specified contents. The brief intervention field is an appropriate target for further historical investigations, which may help thinking about addressing alcohol and other problems.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 24354855
Web of Science ID: 334397900008


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