A self-help approach for high-risk drinking: effect of an initial assessment

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996 Aug;64(4):694-700. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.64.4.694.


A self-help book was offered to persons wanting to quit or cut down on their alcohol use. Study participants (99 men, 56 women) were recruited through advertisements, screened by telephone, and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions. Book by mail or Assessment + Book (30-min telephone motivational interview plus book by mail). At 3-month follow-up, significantly more participants qualified as moderate drinkers in the Assessment + Book condition (65% vs. 43%), by this criterion: < or = 12 drinks/week and < or = 10% heavy drinking days (5 + drinks if male and 4 + drinks if female; 13.6 g of ethanol per drink). At 12 months there was no effect of condition, but significantly more women than men were rated as moderate drinkers (71% vs. 52%). Collateral informants corroborated the participants' reports of drinking.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self-Assessment
  • Self-Help Devices*