Brief Intervention

Catherine Haighton, Peter Kruithof

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Brief interventions for alcohol are an evidence informed approach to addressing the needs of the many people who may benefit from reducing their alcohol consumption. This chapter will outline the two different types of intervention:

Simple brief intervention

Extended brief intervention

… and the basic principles underlying these approaches. Brief interventions are firmly grounded in theory; therefore, this chapter will highlight those most commonly associated with this approach, including social learning theory, cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, and the transtheoretical (stages of change) model. Evidence will be presented concerning the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions in both hospital and home settings. As well as general hospital wards other medical settings, such as primary healthcare and hospital emergency departments, are appropriate locations for brief alcohol intervention. Despite people responding positively to brief alcohol intervention when delivered in an appropriate context and by a professional with whom they have developed a relationship and rapport, professionals cite several barriers to its implementation. As excessive alcohol consumption is associated with social as well as health problems, brief interventions sometime occur within other contexts, such as criminal justice, educational, work, and social service settings. While brief alcohol interventions can be effective in these contexts, there can be issues with stigma associated with receiving a brief alcohol intervention in these settings. However, it has been found that neither the setting nor content of the brief alcohol intervention appears to significantly moderate its effectiveness, although nurses play a positive role in their delivery; therefore, services should select the brief intervention tool that best suits their needs. Digital intervention, which can be delivered in the home, are an effective alternative often preferred by younger people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlcohol Use: Assessment, Withdrawal Management, Treatment and Therapy
Subtitle of host publicationEthical Practice
EditorsDavid B. Cooper
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783031183812
ISBN (Print)9783031183805, 9783031183836
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

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