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Alcohol screening and brief intervention by community pharmacists: benefits and communication methods

Dhital, R. (2008) Alcohol screening and brief intervention by community pharmacists: benefits and communication methods. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 1 (1). pp. 20-31. ISSN 1753-8068

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1179/cih.2008.1.1.20


Within the context of services to prevent or treat alcohol-related problems, the terms 'alcohol screening' and 'brief intervention', include all practices used to identify a real or potential alcohol problem, and motivate individuals to take positive action to promote health. Alcohol misuse and dependence affect 8.2 million adults in England, leading to an estimated cost to society of £20bn per annum. Alcohol misuse is now the third leading cause of ill health after tobacco use and high blood pressure. During the past 20 years, randomised controlled trials of brief interventions have been conducted in diverse practice settings. These have included hospital accident and emergency services, medical inpatients units and primary healthcare settings, such as General Practitioner (GP) surgeries. Currently there are no established services or training opportunities in the UK, for community pharmacists to engage in managing alcohol-related problems. It is well known that community pharmacies allow the general public to seek healthcare advice. The potential benefits of preventing alcohol problems through pharmacists' involvement in brief intervention have yet to be measured and further research is required. This paper therefore aims to explore the following questions: What is the evidence for brief intervention and commutation methodology in public health? How can community pharmacists be involved in conducting brief alcohol intervention? What would be a good practice guide for pharmacists to communicate safe drinking advice to harmful and or hazardous drinkers, accessing community pharmacy services? How could the potential benefits of brief intervention led by community pharmacists be measured?

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:80869
Publisher:Taylor and Francis

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