• Alcohol Training Program;
  • Knowledge;
  • Self-Efficacy;
  • Clinical Practice;
  • Nurse

Background:  Excessive alcohol use has been associated with health, social and legal problems. Helping health care providers to manage hazardous or harmful drinkers is an important worldwide issue. Alcohol is a legal and accessible substance in Taiwan and is viewed as an acceptable drink for relieving stress and enhancing socialization in Chinese culture. These cultural factors may contribute to drinking problems being easily ignored and to lack of alcohol training programs for health care providers.

Methods:  For this randomized controlled clinical trial with 1- and 3-month posttests, six hospitals were randomly selected throughout Taiwan and were randomly assigned to an experimental or control group. In these hospitals, nurses were selected from the Emergency Department, psychiatric, and gastrointestinal medical-surgical units where most patients with alcohol problems are seen. For the experimental group, nurses received a 1.5-hour alcohol training program consisting of an introduction to alcohol, factors influencing alcohol drinking, impacts of high-risk drinking on a person, as well as introduction to and practice of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and brief alcohol intervention. The program also discussed Taiwanese nurses’ perceived barriers and facilitators to intervening for problem alcohol use. Teaching strategies included lecture, discussion, demonstration, practice, role-playing, and sharing experiences. The control group did not receive any training. Data were collected at pretest, 1-month, and 3-month posttests using a self-report questionnaire on knowledge, self-efficacy, clinical practice scales, and a demographic form.

Results:  The study was completed by 395 nurses, including 191 nurses in the experimental group and 204 nurses in the control group. Knowledge scores significantly improved in the experimental group at the 1- and 3-month posttests but not for the control group. Similarly, nurses’ self-efficacy and clinical practice scores significantly improved in the experimental group at the 3-month posttest but not for the control group.

Conclusions:  Our results suggest that the alcohol training program could be used to enhance nurses’ alcohol knowledge, self-efficacy, and clinical practice not only in Taiwan but also other countries.