Nurse-led programmes help 40% of alcoholics quit

Nurse-led interventions can help 40% of alcoholics to abstain from alcohol, research suggests.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, of the University of Liverpool, studied the effectiveness of interventions delivered using a motivational approach.

She found that regular information and advice sessions from alcohol specialist nurses helped dependent drinkers give up alcohol altogether.

Dr Cobain said the study demonstrated ‘just how useful interventions by alcohol specialist nurses can be' in reducing alcohol dependence.

‘It is a simple approach, but clearly works and should be considered as a treatment option for dependent drinkers,' she said.

The six-month study involved two groups of 100 alcohol-dependent adults.

One group received brief interventions at the start of the study with up to six follow-up meetings over three months. The interventions included motivational questionnaires, advice and feedback.

The control group were only given a six-month follow-up appointment.

None of this group had completely stopped drinking alcohol by the end of the study, compared with 40% of the group who met regularly with specialist nurses.

The study findings were presented at the Royal College of Nursing's International Research Conference in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, this week.

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