Brief alcohol intervention by newly trained workers versus leaflets: comparison of effect in older heavy drinkers identified in a population health examination survey: a randomized controlled trial

Alcohol Alcohol. 2012 Jan-Feb;47(1):25-32. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agr140. Epub 2011 Sep 22.


Aims: To test if a brief motivational intervention (BMI) in a non-treatment seeking population of heavy drinkers results in a reduced alcohol intake.

Methods: Screening of 12,364 participants in a Danish health examination survey led to 1026 heavy drinkers of whom 772 were included and randomized to a BMI group (n = 391) or a control group (n = 381) receiving two leaflets about alcohol. Follow-up took place after 6 and 12 months including 670 and 616 participants respectively. The outcome measure was self-reported weekly alcohol consumption. Data were analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. We used the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity 3.0 code (MITI) as a quality control of the interventions delivered.

Results: The intervention effect of the BMI was -1.0 drinks/week, but the effect was not significant. The MITI analysis showed that the quality of the BMI delivered was sub-optimal, as only one of four aspects was above the recommended level for beginning proficiency.

Conclusion: We found no effect of a BMI in reducing alcohol consumption. The generalizability of the study is questionable, as individuals with the lowest level of education, low income and unmarried individuals are under-represented.

Trial registration: NCT00728767.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / therapy*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Counseling / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Surveys / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Pamphlets*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data