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The evaluation examined the implementation effectiveness and sustainability of a screening, brief intervention (BI), and referral into treatment pilot project at two hospitals. Data included screening and BI records, stakeholder consultations (7), and a survey of nurses (142). Almost half the patients (22,810, 43%) in 2006–2009 completed an alcohol screen. Of 1,407 medium- or high-risk patients, 359 (36%) at medium and 194 (48%) at high risk received brief interventions (BIs). A third of those at high risk (133, 33%,) received referrals, and of the 56 who accepted a referral, 23 (41%) engaged in treatment. Nurses felt the project made progress against objectives; 17% reported an improved attitude to this work. Barriers included staff turnover, concern about providing BIs, policy shortcomings, and lack of time. Positive supports included staff capacity, training, support from senior staff, and project integration. Screening implementation was successful, but BI and referral provision less so. Dedicated resources and policy and workforce development would support implementation effectiveness.


Centre for Health and Social Research

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Journal Article

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