The acceptability to Aboriginal Australians of a family-based intervention to reduce alcohol-related harms


  • Bianca Calabria BPsyc (Hons), Doctoral Candidate, Anton Clifford PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Anthony Shakeshaft PhD, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Julaine Allan PhD, M. Soc Sci (Crim), BSW, BA (Psych), Research Fellow (Adjunct), Donna Bliss Bachelor of Mental Health, CEO, Christopher Doran B Ec (Hons), PhD, Professor.

Correspondence to Dr Anton Clifford, Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, University of Queensland, 23 Edgar Street, Bowen Hills, Qld 4006, Australia. Tel: +61 7 3648 9500; Fax: +61 7 3252 9851; E-mail:


Introduction and Aims

Cognitive–behavioural interventions that use familial and community reinforcers in an individual's environment are effective for reducing alcohol-related harms. Such interventions have considerable potential to reduce the disproportionately high burden of alcohol-related harm among Aboriginal Australians if they can be successfully tailored to their specific needs and circumstances. The overall aim of this paper is to describe the perceived acceptability of two cognitive–behavioural interventions, the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) and Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), to a sample of Aboriginal people.

Design and Methods

Descriptive survey was administered to 116 Aboriginal people recruited through an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service and a community-based drug and alcohol treatment agency in rural New South Wales, Australia.


Participants perceived CRA and CRAFT to be highly acceptable for delivery in their local Aboriginal community. Women were more likely than men to perceive CRAFT as highly acceptable. Participants expressed a preference for counsellors to be someone they knew and trusted, and who has experience working in their local community. CRA was deemed most acceptable for delivery to individuals after alcohol withdrawal and CRAFT for people who want to help a relative/friend start alcohol treatment. There was a preference for five or more detailed sessions.

Discussion and Conclusions

Findings of this study suggest that CRA and CRAFT are likely to be acceptable for delivery to some rural Aboriginal Australians, and that there is potential to tailor these interventions to specific communities.