Training and tailored outreach support to improve alcohol screening and brief intervention in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services

Authors

  • Anton Clifford,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    • School of Population Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Anthony Shakeshaft,

    1. School of Population Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Catherine Deans

    1. School of Population Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
    2. School of Women's and Children's Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
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Anton Clifford PhD, Research Fellow, Anthony Shakeshaft PhD, Associate Professor, Catherine Deans BPsych (Hons), Research Associate. Correspondence to Dr Anton Clifford, School of Population Health, Level 1, Public Health Building, The University of Queensland, Herston Road, Herston, Qld 4006, Australia. Tel: +61 (07) 3346 64687 0386; Fax: +61 (07) 3365 5509; Email: a.clifford@uq.edu.au

Abstract

Introduction and Aims

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) are often the primary point of contact for Indigenous Australians experiencing alcohol-related harms. Screening and brief intervention (SBI) is a cost-effective treatment for reducing these harms. Factors influencing evidence-based alcohol SBI delivery in ACCHSs have been identified. Evaluations of strategies targeting these factors are required. The aim of this paper is to quantify the effect of training and tailored outreach support on the delivery of alcohol SBI in four Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs).

Design and Methods

A pre- post- assessment of alcohol information recorded in computerised patient information systems of four ACCHSs.

Results

For ACCHSs combined there was a statistically significant increase in the proportion of eligible clients with an electronic record of any alcohol information (3.2% to 7.5%, P< 0.0001) and a valid alcohol screen (1.6% to 6.5%, P< 0.0001), and brief intervention (25.75% to 47.7%, P< 0.0001). All four ACCHSs achieved statistically significant increases in the proportion of clients with a complete alcohol screen (10.3%; 7.4%; 2%, P< 0.0001 and 1.3%, P< 0.05), and two in the proportion with a heavy drinking screen (7% and 3.1%, P< 0.0001).

Discussion and Conclusions

Implementing evidence-based alcohol SBI in ACCHSs is likely to require multiple strategies tailored to the characteristics of specific services. Outreach support provided by local drug and alcohol practitioners and a one item heavy drinking screen offer considerable promise for increasing routine alcohol SBI delivery in ACCHSs. Training and outreach support appear to be effective for achieving modest improvements in alcohol SBI delivery in ACCHSs.

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