The aim of this study is to examine the longitudinal relationship of readiness to change, drinking pattern, amount of alcohol consumed, and alcohol-related negative consequences among at-risk and dependent drinkers enrolled in a Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) trial in an emergency department in southern Poland. The study examined 299 patients randomized to either an assessment or intervention condition and followed at 3 and 12 months after initial presentation. Patients indicating a readiness or were unsure of changing drinking behavior were significantly more likely to decrease the maximum number of drinks per occasion and the usual number of drinks in a sitting in the 3-months following study entry when compared to those that rated changing drinking behavior as unimportant. Readiness to change was not predictive of outcomes between the baseline and 12-month follow-up. Drinking outcomes and negative consequences by readiness and research condition were non-significant. This is the first Polish study utilizing SBIRT to enable patients to identify their hazardous drinking and reduce alcohol consumption. While some drinking outcomes improved with motivation, these improvements were not maintained at 12-months following SBIRT. Attention to additional constructs of readiness to change and drinking patterns may augment the effectiveness of SBIRT.
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